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THE 



WIDE, WIDE WORLD 



v<7 



BY 



ELIZABETH WETHERELL 



SIXTH EDITION 



Here at the portal thou dost stand. 

And with thy little hand 
Thou openest the mysterious gate, 

Into the future's undiscovered land 

I see its valves espand, 
As at the touch of Fate ! 
Into those realms of Love and Hate. 

LONGFELLO'JI 



VOLUME II. 

N E W - Y R K : 
GEORGE P. PUTNAI^r, 155 BUOADWAY. 

18 5 1. 



Entered, according ^ Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by 

GEORGE P. PUTNAM, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of 
New- York. 



CONTENTS OP CHAPTERS 



VOLUME II. 

Pag< 

Chapter XXIX. Stockings, to which the " Bas Bleu" was nothing, . 3 



XXX. Sunday at Ventnor, . . . 12 

XXXI. Flowers and Thorns, . . . . 23 

XXXII. The bank-note and George Washington, . 37 

XXXIII. A gathering cloud in the spring weather, . . 47 

XXXIV. The cloud overhead, .... 56 
XXXV. This " working-day world," . . .71 

XXXVI. The Brownie, 91 

XXXVII. Timothy and his master, . . . .102 
XXXVIII. Wherein the Black Prince arrives opportunely, 117 
XXXIX. Halcyon days, . . . . .130 

XL. « Prodigious !" . . . . 146 
XLI. " The clouds return after the rain," . . 156 

XLII. One less in the wide, wide world, • . 168 

XLIII. Those that were left, 180 

XLIV. The little spirit that haunted the big house, 192 
XLV. The guardian angel, ..... 209 
XLVI. " Something turns up," .... 226 
XLVII. The wide world grown wider, . . . 244 



hr CONTENTS. 

Page 

Chap XLVIII. How old friends were inyestedwith the Regalia, 260 

XLIX. Thought is free, . . .279 

L. Trials without, . , , . , 292 

LI. Trials within, . • * 304 

LU "Thou!" . . , . . 315 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure, 
The minutes winged their way wi' pleasure. 
Kings may be blest, but thmj were glorious, 
O'er all the ills o' life victorious. 

Burns. 



Christmas morning was dawning gray, but it was still far 
from broad daylight, when Ellen was awakened. She found 
little Ellen Chauncey pulling and pushing at her shoulders, 
and whispering " Ellen ! Ellen !" — in a tone that showed a 
great fear of waking somebody up. There she was, in night- 
gown and nightcap, and barefooted too, with a face brim-full 
of excitement and as wide awake as possible. Ellen roused 
herself in no little surprise and asked what the matter was. 

" I am going to look at my stocking," whispered her 
visiter, — " don't you want to get up and come with me ? it's 
just here in the other room, — come ! — don't make any noise." 

" But what if you should find nothing in it?" said Ellen 
laughingly, as she bounded out of bed. 

Ah but I shall, I know ; — I always do ; — never fear. 
Hush ! step ever so softly — I don't want to wake anybody." 

" It's hardly light enough for you to see," whispered 
Ellen, as the two little barefooted white figures glided out of 
the room. 

" yes it is — that's all the fun. Hush ! — don't make a 
bit of noise — I know where it hangs — mamma always puts it 
at the back of her big easy chair — come this way — here it is ! 
Ellen ! there's two of 'em ! There's one for you ! there's 
one for you !" 

In a tumult of delight one Ellen capered about the floor 
on the tips of her httle bare toes, while the other, not less 
happy, stood still for pleasure. The dancer finished by hug- 
ging and kissing her with all her heart, declaring she was so 
glad she didn't know what to do. 



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" But how shall we know which is which ?" 
Perhaps they are both alike," said Ellen. 

" No — at any rate one's for me, and t'other's for you. 
Stop ! here are pieces of paper, with our names on I guess — 
let's turn the chair a little bit to the light — there — yes ! — El- 
len — M-o-n, — there, that's yours ; my name doesn't begin 
with an M ; and this is mine !" 

Another caper round the room, and then she brought up 
in front of the chair where Ellen was still standing. 

" I wonder what's in 'em," she said ; " I want to look, and 
I don't want to. Come, you begin." 

" But that's no stocking of mine," said Ellen, a smile 
gradually breaking upon her sober little face ; " my leg never 
was as big as that." 

" Stuffed, isn't it ?" said Ellen Chauncey. " do make 
haste, and see what is in yours. I want to know so I don't 
know what to do." 

" Well, will you take out of yours as fast as I take out of 
mine ?" 

» Well !" 

O mysterious delight, and delightful mysteiy, of the stuffed 
stocking ! Ellen's trembhng fingers sought the top, and then 
very suddenly left it. 

" I can't think what it is," said she laughing, — " it feels 
so funny." 

" never mind ! make haste," said Ellen Chauncey ; " it 
won't hurt you.I guess." 

" No, it won't hurt me," said Ellen, — " but " — 

She drew forth a great bunch of white grapes. 

" Splendid ! isn't it ?" said Ellen Chauncey. " Now for 
mine." 

It was the counterpart of Ellen's bunch. 
" So far, so good," said she. " Now for the next." 
The next thing in each stocking was a large horn of sugar- 
plums. 

" Well that's fine, isn't it ?" said Ellen Chauncey ; — " your's 
is tied with white ribbon and mine with blue ; that's 
fill the difierence. 0, and your paper's red and mine is 
purple." 

Yes, and the pictures nre different," said Ellen. 
"Well, I had rather they would be different, wouldn't 



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5 



you ? I think it's just as pleasant. One's as big as the other, 
at any rate. Come — what's next ?" 

Ellen drew out a little bundle, which being opened proved 
to be a nice little pair of dark kid gloves. 

"01 wonder who gave me this !" she said, — " it's just 
what I wanted. How pretty ! I'm so glad. I guess who 
it was." 

" look here," said the other Ellen, who had been diving 
into her stocking, — " I've got a ball — this is just what I 
wanted too ; George told me if I'd get one he'd show me 
how to play. Isn't it pretty ? Isn't it funny we should each 
get just what we wanted ? this is a very nice ball. I'm 
glad I've got it. Why here is another great round thing in 
my stocking ! — what can it be ? they wouldn't give me two 
balls," said she, chuckling. 

. " So there is in mine !" said Ellen. Maybe they're 
apples?" 

" They aren't ! they wouldn't give us apples ; besides, it is 
soft. Pull it out and see." 

" Then they are oranges," said Ellen laughing. 

"/never felt such a soft orange," said little Ellen Chaun- 
cey. " Come Ellen ! stop laughing, and let's see." 

They were two great scarlet satin pincushions, with E. C. 
and E. M. very neatly stuck in pins. 

" Well, we sha'n't want pins for a good while, shall we ?" 
said Ellen. " Who gave us these ?" 

" I know," said little Ellen Chauncey, — " Mrs. Bland." 

" She was very kind to make one for me," said Ellen. 

Now for the next !" 

Her next thinor was a little bottle of Coloorne water. 

" I can tell who put that in," said her friend, — " aunt 
Sophia. I know her little bottles of Cologne water. Do 
you love Cologne water ? Aunt Sophia's is delicious." 

Ellen did like it very much, and was extremely pleased. 
Ellen Chauncey had also a new pair of scissors which gave 
entire satisfaction. 

" Now I wonder what all this toe is stuffed with," said 
she, — " raisins and almonds, I declare ! and yours the same, 
jsn't it ? Well, don't you think we have got enough sweet 
things ? Isn't this a pretty good Christmas ?" 

" What are you about, you monkeys ?" cried the voice of 



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aunt Sophia from the dressing-room door. " Alice, Alice 
do look at them. Come, right back to bed both of you. 
Crazy pates ! It is lucky it is Christmas day — if it was any 
other in the year we should have you both sick in bed ; as it 
is I suppose you will go scot free." 

Laughing, and rosy with pleasure, they came back and got 
into bed together ; and for an hour afterwards the two kept 
up a most animated conversation, intermixed with long 
chuckles and bursts of merriment, and whispered communi- 
cations of immense importance. The arrangement of the 
painted needlebook was entirel}' decided upon in this consul- 
tation ; also two or three other matters ; and the two chil- 
dren seemed to have already lived a day since daybreak by 
the time they came down to breakfast. 

After breakfast Ellen applied secretly to Alice to know if 
she could w^rite very beautifully ; she exceedingly wanted 
something done. 

" I should not like to venture, Ellie, if it must be so super- 
fine ; but John can do it for you." 

" Can he ? Do you think he would ?" 
I am sure he will if you ask him." 

" But 1 don't like to ask him," said Ellen, casting a doubt- 
ful glance at the window. 

Nonsense ! he's only reading the newspaper. You won't 
disturb him." 

" Well you won't say anything about it ?" 

" Certainly not." 

Ellen accordingly went near and said gently, Mr. Hum- 
phreys," — but he did not seem to hear her. "Mr. Hum- 
phreys !" — a little louder. 

" He has not arrived yet," said John, looking round gravely. 

He spoke so gravely that Ellen could not tell whether he 
were joking or serious. Her face of extreme perplexity was 
too much for his command of countenance. " Whom do you 
want to speak to ?" said he, smiling. 

" I wanted to speak to you, sir," said Ellen, " if you are 
not too busy." 

" i^lr. Humphreys is always busy," said he, shaking his 
head ; " but Mr. John can attend to you at any time, and John 
will do for you whatever you please to ask him." 

" Then, Mr. John," said Ellen laughing, " if you please I 



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r 



wanted to ask you to do something for me veiy much in- 
deed, if you are not too busy ; Ahce said I shouldn't disturb 
you." 

" Not at all ; I've been long enough over this stupid news- 
paper. What is it?" 

" I want you, if you will be so good," said Ellen, " to write 
a little bit for me on something, very beautifully." 

« < Very beautifully !' Well— come to the library ; we will 
Bee." 

" But it is a great secret," said Ellen ; " you won't tell any- 
body ?" 

" Tortures sha'n't draw it from me — when I know what it 
is," said he, with one of his comical looks. 

In high glee Ellen ran for the pieces of Bristol board which 
were to form the backs of the needlebook, and brought them 
to the library ; and explained how room was to be left in the 
middle of each for a painting, a rose on one, a butterfly on the 
other ; the writing to be as elegant as possible, above, be- 
neath, and roundabout, as the fancy of the writer should 
choose. 

" Well, what is to be inscribed on this most original of 
needlebooks ?" said John, as he carefully mended his pen. 

Stop !" — said Ellen, — I'll tell you in a minute — on this 
one, the front you know, is to go, ' To my dear mother, many 
happy New Years ;' — and on this side, * From her dear little 
daughter, Ellen Chauncey.' You know," she added, " Mrs. 
Chauncey isn't to know anything about it till New Year's Day ; 
nor anybody else." 

" Trust me," said John. If I am asked any quetions they 
shall find me as obscure as an oracle." 

" What is an oracle, sir ?" 
Why," said John, smiling, " this pen won't do yet — the 
old heathens believed there were certain spots of earth to 
which some of their gods had more favor than to others, and 
where they would permit mortals to come nearer to them, and 
would even deign to answer their questions." 
And did they ?" said Ellen. 

" Did they what ?" 

" Did they answer their questions ?" 

" Did who answer their questions ?" 

" The — oh ! to be sure," said Ellen, — " there were no such 



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gods. But what made people think they ans w^ered them ? 
and how could they ask questions ?" 

" I suppose it was a contrivance of the priests to increase 
their power and wealth. There was always a temple built 
near, with priests and priestesses ; the questions were put 
through them ; and they would not ask them except on great 
occasions, or for people of consequence who could pay them 
well by making splendid gifts to the god." 

" But I should think the people would have thought the 
priest or priestess had made up the answers themselves." 

" Perhaps they did sometimes. But people had not the 
Bible then, and did not know as much as we know. It was 
not unnatural to think the gods would care a little for the 
poor people that lived on the earth. Besides, there was a 
good deal of management and trickery about the answers of 
the oracle that helped to deceive." 

" How was it?" said Ellen ; — " how could they manage ? 
and what was the oracle V 

*' The oi acle was either the answer itself, or the god who 
was supposed to give it, or the place where it was given ; and 
there were different Avays of managing. At one place the 
priest hid himself in the hollow body or among the branches 
of an oak tree, and people thought the tree spoke to them. 
Sometimes the oracle was delivered by a woman who pre- 
tended to be put into a kind of fit — tearing her hair and beat- 
ing her breast." 

*' But suppose the oracle made a mistake ? — what would 
the people think then ?' 

" The answers were generally contrived so that they would 
seem to come true in any event." 

" I don't see how they could do that," said Ellen. 

"Very well — ^just imagine that I am an oracle, and come 
to me with some question ; — I'll answer you." 

" But you can't tell what's going to happen ?" 
No matter — vou ask me truly and I'll answer you oracu- 
larly." 

That means, like an oracle, I suppose ?" said Ellen. " Well 
— Mr. John, will Alice be pleased with what I am going to 
give her New Year ?" 

" She will be pleased with what she will receive on that day." 

**Ah but," said Ellen laughing, "that isn't fair; you 



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9 



haven't answered me : perhaps somebody else "will give her 
something, and then she might be pleased with that and not 
with mine." 

" Exactly — but the oracle never means to be understood." 

'* Well I won't come to you," said Ellen. " I don't like 
such answers. Now for the needlebook !" 

Breathlessly she looked on while the skillful pen did its 
work ; and her exclamations of delight and admiration when 
the first cover was handed to her were not loud but deep. 

" It will do then, will it ? Now let us see — ' From her 
dear little daughter,' — there — now * Ellen Chauncey' I sup- 
pose must be in hieroglyphics." 

*'In what?" said Ellen. 

" I mean, written in some difficult character." 

" Yes," said Ellen. " But what was that you said ?" 

Hieroglyphics ?" 
Ellen added no more, though she was not satisfied. He 
looked up and smiled. 

" Do you want to know what that means ?'* 
"Yes, if you please," said Ellen. 

The pen was laid down while he explained, to a most eager 
little listener. Even the great business of the moment was 
forgotten. From hieroglyphics they went to the pyramids ; 
and Ellen had got to the top of one and was enjoying the 
prospect, (in imagination) when she suddenly came down to 
tell John of her stuffed stocking and its contents. The pen 
went on again, and came to the end of the writing by the 
time Ellen had got to the toe of the stocking. 

" Wasn't it very strange they should give me so many 
things ?" said she ; — " people that don't know me ?" 

" Why no," said John smiling, — " I cannot say I think it 
was very strange. Is this all the business you had for my 
hands ?" 

" This is all ; and I am very much obliged to you, Mr. John." 
Her grateful affectionate eye said much more, and he felt 
well paid. 

Gilbert was next applied to, to paint the rose and the but- 
terfly, which, finding so elegant a beginning made in the 
work, he was very ready to do. The girls were then free to 
set about the embroidery of the leaves, which was by no 
means the business of an hour. 
1* 



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A very happy Christmas day was that. With their needles 
and thimbles, and rose-colored silk, they kept by themselves 
in a corner, or in the library, out of the way ; and sweetening 
their talk with a sugar-plum now and then, neither tongues 
nor needles knew any flagging. It was wonderful what they 
found so much to say, but there was no lack. Ellen Chaun- 
cey especially was inexhaustible. Several times too that day 
the Cologne bottle was handled, the gloves looked at and 
fondled, the ball tried, and the new scissors extolled as "just 
the thing for their Avork." Ellen attempted to let her com- 
panion into the mystery of oracles and hieroglyphics, but was 
fain to give it up ; little Ellen showed a decided preference 
for American, not to say Ventnor, subjects, where she felt 
more at home. 

Then came Mr. Humphreys ; and Ellen was glad, both for 
her own sake and because she loved to see Alice pleased. 
Then came the great merry Christmas dinner, when the girls 
had, not talked themselves out, but tired themselves with 
working. Young and old dined together to-day, and the 
children not set by themselves but scattered among the 
grown-up people ; and as Ellen was nicely placed between 
Ahce and httle Ellen Chauncey, she enjoyed it all very much. 
The large long table surrounded with happy faces ; tones of 
cheerfulness and looks of kindness, and lively talk ; the superb 
display of plate and glass and china ; the stately dinner ; and 
last but not least, the plum pudding. There was sparkling 
wine too, and a great deal of drinking of healths ; but Ellen 
noticed that Alice and her brother smilingly drank all theirs 
in water ; so when ohl Mr. Marshman called to her to "hold 
out her glass," she held it out to be sure and let him fill it, 
but she lifted her tumbler of water to her lips instead, after 
making him a very low bow. Mr. Marshman laughed at her 
a great deal, and asked her if she was " a proselyte to the 
new notions ;" and Ellen laughed with him, without having 
the least idea Avhat he meant, and was extremely happy. It 
was very pleasant too when they went into the drawing- 
room to take coffee. The young ones were permitted to have 
coffee to-night as a great favor. Old Mrs. Marshman had 
the two little ones on either side of her ; and was so kind, 
and held Ellen's hand in her own, and talked to her about 
her mother, till Ellen loved her. 



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11 



After tea there was a great call for games, and young and 
old joined in them. They played the Old Curiosity Shop ; 
and Ellen thought Mr. John's curiosities could not be matched. 
They played the Old Family Coach, Mr. Howard Marshman 
being the manager, and Ellen laughed till she was tired ; she 
was the coach door, and he kept her opening and shutting 
and swinging and breaking, it seemed all the while, though 
most of the rest were worked just as hard. When they were 
well tired they sat down to rest and hear music, and Ellen 
enjoyed that exceedingly. Alice sang, and Mrs. Gillespie, 
and Miss Sophia, and another lady, and Mr. Howard ; some- 
times alone, sometimes three or four or all together. 

At last came ten o'clock and the young ones were sent oflf ; 
and from beginning to end that had been a Christmas day of 
unbroken and unclouded pleasure. Ellen's last act was to take 
another look at her Cologne bottle, gloves, pincushion, grapes, 
and paper of sugar-plums, which were laid side by side care- 
fully in a drawer. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



Bot though life's valley be a vale of tears. 
A brighter scene beyond that vale appears. 
Whose glory, with a light that never fades, 
8hoots between scattered rocks and opening shades. 

COWPER. 

Mr. Humphreys was persuaded to stay over Sunday at 
Ventnor ; and it was also settled that his children should not 
leave it till after New Year. This was less their own wish 
than his ; he said Alice wanted the change, and he wish- 
ed she looked a little fatter. Beside, the earnest pleadings 
of the whole family were not to be denied. Ellen was very 
glad of this, though there was one drawback to the pleasures 
of Ventnor, — she could not feel quite at home with any of the 
young people but only Ellen Chauncey and her cousin 
George Walsh. This seemed very strange to her ; she almost 
thought Margaret Dunscombe was at the bottom of it all, but 
she recollected she had felt something of this before Marga- 
ret came. She tried to think nothing about it ; and in truth 
it was not able to prevent her from being very happy. The 
breach however was destined to grow wider. 

About four miles from Ventnor was a large town called 
Randolph. Thither they drove to church Sunday morning, 
the whole family ; but the hour of dinner and the distance 
prevented any one from going in the afternoon. The mem- 
bers of the family were scattered in different parts of the 
house, most in their own rooms. Ellen with some diflBculty 
made her escape from her young companions, whose manner 
of spending the time did not satisfy her notions of what was 
right on that day, and went to look in the library for lier 
friends. They were there, and alone ; Ahce half recliniDg 
on the sofa, half in her brother's arms ; he was reading or 
talking to her ; there was a book m his hand. 



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18 



" Is anything the matter ?" said Ellen, as she drew near ; 
** aren't you well, dear Alice ? — Headache? oh, 1 am sorry. 
! I know " 

She darted away. In two minutes she was back again with 
a pleased face, her bunch of grapes in one hand, her bottle of 
Cologne water in the other. 

" Won't you open that, please, Mr. John," said she ; — I 
can't open it ; I guess it will do her good, for Ellen says it's 
delicious. Mamma used to have Cologne water for her head- 
aches. And here, dear Alice, won't you eat these ? — do ! — • 
try one." 

" Hasn't that bottle been open yet ?" said Alice, as she 
smilingly took a grape. 

" Why no, to be sure it hasn't. I wasn't going to open it 
till I wanted it. Eat them all, dear Alice, — please do !" 

" But I don't think you have eaten one yourself, Ellen, by 
the look of the bunch. And here are a great many too many 
for me." 

" Yes 1 have, I've eaten two ; I don't want 'em. I give 
them all to you and Mr. John. I had a great deal rather !" 

Ellen took however as precious payment Alice's look and 
kiss ; and then with a delicate consciousness that perhaps the 
brother and sister might like to be alone, she left the library. 
She did not know where to go, for Miss Sophia was stretched 
on the bed in her room, and she did not want any company. 
At last with her httle Bible she placed herself on the old sofa 
in the hall above stairs, Avhich was perfectly well warmed, and 
for some time she was left there in peace. It was pleasant, 
after all the hubbub of the morning, to have a little quiet time 
that seemed like Sunday ; and the sweet Bible words came, 
as they often now came to Ellen, with a healing breath. But 
after half an hour or so, to her dismay she heard a door open 
and the whole gang of children come trooping into the hall 
below, where tliey soon made such a noise that reading or 
thinking was out of the question. 

" What a bother it is that one can't play games on a Sun- 
day !" said Marianne Gillespie. 

" One can play games on a Sunday," answered her brother. 
" Where's the odds ? It's all Sunday's good for, / think." 

" William ! — William !" sounded the shocked voice of little 
Ellen Chauncey, — you are a real wicked boy !" 



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** Well now !" said William.. — " how am I wicked ? Kow 
say, — I should like to know. How is it any more wicked for 
us to play games than it is for aunt Sophia to lie abed and 
sleep, or for uncle Howard to read novels, or for grandpa to 
talk politics, or for mother to talk about the fashions ? — there 
were she and Miss What's-her-name for ever so longf this 
morning doing everything but make a dress. Now which is 
the worst ?" 

" 0, William ! — WilHam ! — for shame ! for shame !" said 
Ellen again. 

"Do hush, Ellen Chauncey ! will you ?" said Marianne 
sharply ; — " and you had better hush too, William, if you know 
what is good for yourself. I don't care whether it's right or 
wrong, 1 do get dolefully tired with doing nothing." 

" Oh so do I !" said Margaret yawning. " I wish one could 
sleep all Sunday." 

" I'll tell you what," said George, " I know a game 
we can play, and no harm either, for it's all out of the 
Bible." 

" do you ? let's hear it, George," cried the girls. 

" I don't believe it is good for anything if it is out of the 
Bible," said Margaret. " Now stare, Ellen Chauncey, do !" 

"I aint staring," said Ellen indignantly, — "but I don't be- 
lieve it is right to play it, if it is out of the Bible." 

" Well it is though," said George. " Now listen ; — I'll 
think of somebody in the Bible, — some man or woman, you 
know ; and you all may ask me twenty questions about him 
to see if you can find out who it is." 

" What kind of questions ?" 

" Any kind of questions — whatever you like." 

" That will improve your knowledge of scripture history," 
said Gilbert. 

" To be sure ; and exercise oui* memory,'' said Isabel 
Hawthorn. 

" Yes, and then w^e are thinking of good people and what 
they did, all the time," said little Ellen. 

" Or bad people and w^hat they did," said William. 

" But I don't know enough about people and things in the 
Bible," said Margaret ; " I couldn't guess." 

" never mind — it will be all the more fun," said George. 
" Come ! let's begin. Who'll take somebody ?" 



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15 



"0 1 think this will be fine !" said little Chauncey but 
Ellen — where's Ellen? — we want her." 

" No we don't want her ! — we've enough without her — 
she won't play !" shouted William, as the little girl ran up 
stairs. She persevered however. Ellen had left her sofa be- 
fore this, and was found seated on the foot of her bed. As 
far and as long as she could she withstood her little friend's 
entreaties, and very unwilhngly at last yielded and went with 
her down stairs. 

" Now we are ready," said little Ellen Chauncey ; " I have 
told Ellen what the game is ; who's going to begin ?" 

" We have begun," said William. " Gilbert has thought 
of somebody. Man or woman ?" 

-Man." 

" Young or old ?" 

*' Why — he was young first and old afterwards." 

" Pshaw, William ! what a ridiculous question," said his 
sister. " Besides you mustn't ask m,ore than one at a time. 
Rich or poor, Gilbert ?" 

" Humph ! — why I suppose he was moderately well off. I 
dare say I should think myself a lucky fellow if I had as 
much." 

" Are you answering truly, Gilbert ?" 
" Upon my honor !" 

" Was he in a high or low station of life," asked Miss Haw- 
thorn ?" 

" Neither at the top nor the bottom of the ladder — a very 
respectable person indeed.'' 

" But we are not getting on," said Margaret ; " according 
to you he wasn't anything in particular ; what kind of a 
person was he, Gilbert ?" 

" A very good man." 

" Handsome or ugly ?" 

" History don't say." 

" Well, what does it say ?" said George • — " what did ho 
do ?" 

" He took a journey once upon a time." 
"What for'?" 

"Do you mean why he went, or what was the object of 
his going ?" 

" Why the one's the same as the other, aint it ?" 



16 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



" I beg your pardon." 

" Well, what was the object of his going ?" 

" He went after a wife." 

'* Samson ! Samson !*' shouted William and Isabel and Ellen 
Chauncey. 

" No — it wasn't Samson either." 

" I can't think of anybody else that went after a wife," said 
George. That king — what's his name ? — that married 

Esther ?" 

The children screamed. " He didn't go after a wife, George, 
— his wives were brought to him. Was it Jacob ?" 

" No — he didn't go after a wife either," said Gilbert ; " he 
married two of them, but he didn't go to his uncle's to find 
them. You had better go on with your questions. You have 
had eight already. If you don't look out you won't catch 
me. Come !" 

Did he get the wife that he went after ?" asked Ellen 
Chauncey. 

" He was never married that I know of," said Gilbert. 
" What was the reason he failed ?" said Isabel. 
" He did not fail." 

*' Did he bring home his wife then ? you said he wasn't 
married." 

" He never was, that I know of ; but he brought home a 
wife notwithstanding." 

" But how funny you are, Gilbert," said little Ellen, — " he 
had a wife and he hadn't a wife ; — what became of her ?" 

*' She lived and flourished. Twelve questions ; — take care." 

" Nobody asked what country he was of," said Margaret, 
— " what was he, Gilbert ?" 
He was a Damascene. 

**A what?'' 

" Of Damascus — of Damascus. You know where Damas- 
cus is, don't you "?" 

Fiddle !" said Marianne, — " I thought he was a Jew. 
Did he hve before or after the flood ?" 

" After. I should think you might have known that." 

" W^ell, I can't make out anything about him," said 
Marianne. " We shall have to give it up." 

" No, no, — not yet," said William. " Where did he go 
after his wife ?" 



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17 



"Too close a question." 

" Then that don't count. Had he ever seen her before ?" 
** Never." 

'* Was she willing to go with him 
Very willing. Ladies always are when they go to be 
married." 

" And what became of her ?" 

" She was married and lived happily, — as I told you." 
" But you said he wasn't married ?" 
" Well, what then? I didn't say she married ^im." 
" Whom did she marry ?" 

"Ah that is asking the whole ; I can't tell you." 

" Had they far to go ?" asked Isabel. 

" Several days' journey, — 1 don't know how far." 

" How did they travel ?'' 

" On camels." 

" Was it the Queen of Sheba !" said little Ellen. 

There was a roar of laughter at this happy thought, and 
poor httle Ellen declared she forgot all but about the jour- 
ney ; she remembered the Queen of Sheba had taken a jour- 
ney, and the camels in the picture of the Queen of Sheba, 
and that made her think of her. 

The children gave up. Questioning seemed hopeless ; and 
Gilbert at last told them his thought. It was Eleazar, Abra- 
ham's steward, whom he sent to fetch a wife for his son 
Isaac. 

" Why haven't ijou guessed, little mumchance ?" said 
Gilbert to Ellen Montgomery. 

" I have guessed," said Ellen ; — " I knew who it was some 
time ago." 

" Then why didn't you say so ? and you haven't asked a 
single question," said George. 

" No, you haven't asked a single question," said Ellen 
Chauncey. 

" She is a great deal too good for that," said William ; 
" she thinks it is wicked, and that we are not at all nice pro- 
per-behaved boys and girls to be playing on Sunday ; she is 
very sorry she could not help being amused." 

" Do you think it is wricked, Ellen ?" asked her little friend. 

" Do you think it isn't right ?" said George Walsh. 



18 



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Ellen hesitated ; she saw they were all waiting to hear 
what she would say. She colored, and looked down at 
her little Bible which was still in her hand. It encouraged 
her. 

" I don't want to say anything rude," she began ; — " I don't 
think it is quite right to play such plays, or any plays." 

She was attacked with impatient cries of " Why not ?" 
"Why not?" 

*' Because," said Ellen, trembling with the effort she made, — 
" I think Sunday was meant to be spent in growing better 
and learning good things ; and I don't think such plays would 
help one at all to do that ; and I have a kind of feeling that 
I ought not to do it." 

" Well I hope you'll act according to your feelings then," 
said William ; " 1 am sure nobody has any objection. You 
had better go somewhere else though, for we are going on ; 
we have been learning to be good long enough for one day. 
Come ! I have thought of somebod3^" 

Ellen could not help feeling hurt and sorry at the half 
sneer she saw in the look and manner of the others as well 
as in William's words. She wished for no better than to go 
away, but as she did so her bosom swelled and the tears 
started and her breath came quicker. She found AHce lying 
down and asleep. Miss Sophia beside her ; so she stole out 
again and went down to the library. Finding nobody, she 
took possession of the sofa and tried to read again ; reading 
somehow did not go well, and she fell to musing on what had 
just passed. She thought of the unkindness of the children ; 
how sure she was it was wrong to spend any part of Sunday 
in such games ; what Alice would think of it, and John, and 
her mother ; and how the Sundays long ago used to be spent, 
when that dear mother was with her ; and then she wondered 
how she was passing this very one, — while Ellen was sitting 
here in the library alone, what she was doing in that far-away 
land ; and she thought if there only wei-e such things as 
oracles that could tell truly, how much she should like to 
ask about her. 

Ellen !" said the voice of John from the window. 

She started up ; she had thought she was alone ; but there 
he was lying in the window seat. 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 19 



" What are you doing ?" 
" Nothing," said Ellen. 

*' Come here. What are you thinking about ? I didn't 
know you were there till I heard two or three very long 
sighs. What is the matter with my little sister ?" 

He took her hand and drew her fondly up to him. What 
were you thinking about ?" 

" I was thinking about diflferent things, — nothing is the 
matter," said Ellen. 

" Then what are those tears in your eyes for 

" I don't know," said she laughing, — " there weren't any 
till I came here. I was thinking just now about mamma." 

He said no more, still however keeping her beside him. 

" I should think," said Ellen presently, after a few minutes* 
musing look out of the window, — " it would be very pleasant 
if there were such things as oracles — don't you, Mr. John V 

" No." 

" But wouldn't you hke to know something about what's 
going to happen ?" 

"I do know a great deal about it." 
" About what is going to happen !" 
He smiled. 

" Yes — a great deal, ElHe, — enough to give me work for 
all the rest of my life." 

" you mean from the Bible ! — I was thinking of other 
things." 

" It is best not to know the other things Ellie ; — I am very 
glad to know those the Bible teaches us." 

" But it doesn't tell us much, does it ? What does it tell 
us?" 

y^" Go to the window and tell me what you see.'* 

" I don't see anything in particular," said Ellen, after 

•taking a grave look-out. 
" Well, what in general ?" 

" Why there is the lawn covered with snow, and the trees 
and bushes ; and the sun is shining on everything just as it 
did the day we came ; and there's the long shadow of that 
hemlock across the snow, and the blue sky." 

** Now look out again Ellie, and listen. I know that a day 
is to come when those heavens shall be wrapped together as a 



20 



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scroll — they shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth 
shall wax old like a garment ; — and it and all the works that 
are therein shall be burned up." 

As he spoke Ellen's fancy tried to follow, — to picture the 
ruin and desolation of all that stood so fair and seemed to 
stand so firm before her ; — but the sun shone on, the branches 
waved gently in the wind, the shadows lay still on the snow, 
and the blue heaven was fair and cloudless. Fancy was 
baffled. She turned from the window. 

" Do you believe it?" said John. 

" Yes," said Ellen, — " I know it ; but 1 think it is very 
disagreeable to think about it." 

*' It would be, Ellie," said he, bringing her again to his 
side, — " very disagreeable — very miserable indeed, if we knew 
no more than that. But we know more — read here.'' 

Ellen took his little Bible and read at the open place. 

** ' Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and 
the former shall not be remembered, neither come into 
mind.' " 

" Why Avon't they be remembered ?" said Ellen ; — shall 
we forget all about them ?" 

No, I do not think that is meant. The new heavens and 
the new earth will be so much more lovely and pleasant that 
we shall not want to think of these." 

Ellen's eye sought the window again. 

" You are thinking that is hardly possible ?" said John 
with a smile. 

" I suppose it is possible," said Ellen, — " but — " 

" But lovely as this world is, Ellie, man has filled it with 
sin, and sin has everywhere brought its punishment, and 
under the weight of both the earth groans. There will be 
no sin there ; sorrow and sighing shall flee away ; love to 
each other and love to their blessed King will fill all hearts, 
and his presence will be with them. Don't you see that 
even if that w^orld shall be in itself no better than this, it will 
yet be far, far more lovely than this can ever be with the 
shadow of sin upon it ?" 

" yes !" said Ellen. " I know whenever I feel wrong 
in any way nothing seems pretty or pleasant to me, or not 
half so much." 



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21 



" Very well," said John, — " I see you understand me. I 
like to think of that land, Ellen, — very much." 

" Mr. John," said Ellen, — " don't you think people will 
know each other again ?" 

" Those that love each other here ? — I have no doubt of it." 

Before either John or Ellen had broken the long musing fit 
that followed these words, they were joined by Ahce. Her 
head was better ; and taking her place in the window-seat, 
the talk began again, betAveen the brother and sister now ; 
Ellen too happy to sit with them and listen. They talked 
of that land again, of the happy company preparing for it ; 
of their dead mother, but not much of her ; of the glory of 
their King, and the joy of his service, even here ; — till thoughts 
grew too strong for words, and silence again stole upon the 
group. The short winter day came to an end ; the sunhght 
faded away into moonlight. Ko shadows lay now on the 
lawn ; and from where she sat Ellen could see the great 
hemlock all silvered with the moonlight which began to steal 
in at the window. It was very, very beautiful ; — yet she 
could think now without sorrow that all this should come to 
an end ; because of that new heaven and new earth wherein 
righteousness should dwell. 

" We have eaten up all your grapes, Ellie," said Alice, — 
or rather / have, for John didn't help me much. I think T 
never ate so sweet grapes in my life ; John said the reason 
was because eveiy one tasted of you." 

" I am very glad," said Ellen laughing. 

*' There is no evil without some good," Ahce went on ; — 
" except for my headache John would not have held my head 
by the hour as he did ; and you couldn't have given me the 
pleasure you did, ElUe. Oh Jack ! — there has been many a 
day lately when I would gladly have had a headache for the 
power of laying my head on your shoulder !" 

" And if mamma had not gone away I should never have 
known you," said Ellen. *' 1 wish she never had gone, but 
I am very, very glad for this !" 

She had kneeled upon the window-seat and clasped Ahce 
round the neck, just as they were called to tea. The conver- 
sation had banished every disagreeable feeling from Ellen's 
mind. She met her companions in the drawing-room almost 



22 



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forgetting that she had any cause of complaint against them. 
And this appeared when in the course of the evening it came 
in her way to perform some httle office of pohteness for 
Marianne. It was done with the gracefulness that could 
only come from a spirit entirely free from ungraceful feelings. 
The children felt it, and for the time were shamed into better 
behavior. The evening passed pleasantly, and Ellen went 
to bed very happy. 



CHAPTER XXXL 



*' The ancient heroes were illustrious, 
For being benign, and not biustrous." 

HUDIBRAS. 

The next day it happened that the young people were 
amusing themselves with talking in a room where John 
Humphreys, walking up and down, was amusing himself 
with thinkino^. In the course of his walk he beoan to find 
their amusement rather disturbing to his. The children were 
all grouped closely round Margaret Dunscombe, who was 
entertaining them with a long and very detailed account of 
a wedding and great party at Randolph which she had had 
the happiness of attending. Eagerly fighting her battles 
over again, and pleased with the rapt attention of her hearers, 
the speaker forgot herself and raised her voice much more 
than she meant to do. As every turn of his walk brought 
John near, there came to his ears sufficient bits and scraps of 
Margaret's story to give him a very fair sample of the whole ; 
and he was sorry to see Ellen among the rest, and as the 
rest, hanging upon her lips and drinking in what seemed to 
him to be very poor nonsense. " Her gown was all blue 
satin, trimmed here, — and so, — you know, with the most 
exqmsite lace, as deep as that, — and on the shoulders and 
here — you know, it was looped up with the most lovely 
bunches of" — here John lost the sense. When he came 
near again she had got upon a different topic — " Miss Sim- 
mons," says I, " what did you do that for?" " Why," says 
she, how could I help it ? 1 saw Mr. Pyne coming, and 

I thought I'd get behind you, and so ." The next time 

the speaker was saying with great animation, " And lo, and 
behold, when I was in the midst of all my pleasure, up comes 

a little gentleman of about his dimensions ." He had 

not taken many turns when he saw that Margaret's nonsense" 
was branching out right and left into worse than nonsense. 



24 



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" Ellen !" said he suddenly, — " I want you in the library." 

" My conscience !" said Margaret ^as he left the room, — • 
** King John the Second, and no less." 

" Don't go on till I come back," said Ellen ; *' I won't be 
three minutes ; just wait for me." 

She found John seated at one of the tables in the library, 
sharpening a pencil. 

" Ellen," said he in his usual manner, — I want you to do 
something for me." 

She waited eagerly to hear what, but instead of telling her 
he took a piece of drawing paper and began to sketch some- 
thing. Ellen stood by, wondering and impatient to the last 
degree ; not caring however to show her impatience, though 
her very feet were twitching to run back to her companions. 

" Ellen," said John as he finished the old stump of a tree 
with one branch left on it, and a little bit of ground at the 
bottom, " did you ever try your hand at drawing ?" 
No," said Ellen. 

" Then sit down here," said he rising from his chair, 
" and let me see what you can make of that." 

"But I don't know how," said Ellen. 
I will teach you. There is a piece of paper, and this 
pencil is sharp enough. Is that chair too low for you ?" 

He placed another, and with extreme unwillingness and 
some displeasure Ellen sat down. It w^as on her tongue to 
ask if another time would not do, but somehow she could not 
get the words out. John showed her how to hold her pencil, 
how to place her paper, where to begin and how to go on ; 
and then went to the other end of the room and took up his 
walk again. Ellen at first felt more inclined to drive her 
pencil through the paper then to make quiet marks upon it. 
However necessity was upon her. She began her work; 
and once fairly begun it grew delightfully interesting. Hei 
vexation went off entirely ; she forgot Margaret and hoi 
story ; the wrinkles on the old trunk smoothed those on hei 
brow, and those troublesome leaves at the branch end brushed 
away all thoughts of everything else. Her cheeks were burn- 
ing with intense interest, when the library door burst open 
and the whole tioop of children rushed in ; they wanted 
Ellen for a round game in which all their number were 
needed ; she must come directly. 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



25 



" I can't come just yet," said she ; " I must finish this first." 

*' Afterwards will just do as well," said George ; — " come 
Ellen, do ! — you can finish it afterwards." 

No I can't," said Ellen, — " I can't leave it till it's done. 
Why I thought Mr. John was here ! I didn't see him go out. 
I'll come in a little while." 

" Did he set you about that pracious piece of business ?" 
said William. 

" Yes." 

" I declare," said Margaret, — " he's fitter to be the Grand 
Turk than any one else 1 know of." 

" I don't know who the Grand Turk is," said Ellen. 

" I'll tell you," said William, putting his mouth close to 
her ear, and speaking in a disagreeable loud whisper, — " it's 
the biggest gobbler in the yard." 

Aint you ashamed William !" cried little Ellen Chauncey. 

" That's it exactly," said Margaret, — always strutting 
about." 

" He isn't a bit," said Ellen veiy angry ; " I've seen peo- 
ple a great deal more like gobblers than he is." 

" Well," said William, reddening in his turn, " I had 
rather at any rate be a good turkey gobbler than one of those 
outlandish birds that have an appetite for stones and glass 
and bits of morocco, and such things. Come, let's us leave 
her to do the Grand Turk's bidding. Come Ellen Chauncey — 
you mustn't stay to interrupt her — we want you !" 

They left her alone. Ellen had colored, but WiUiam's 
words did not hit very sore ; since John's talk w^ith her about 
the matter referred to she had thought of it humbly and 
wisely ; it is only pride that makes such fault-finding very hard 
to bear. She was very sorry however that they had fallen out 
again, and that her own passion, as she feared, had been the 
cause. A few tears had to be wiped away before she could see 
exactly how the old tree stood, — then taking up her pencil she 
soon forgot everything in her work. It v/as finished, and 
with bead now on one side, now on the other, she was look- 
ing at her picture with very great satisfaction, when her Qy% 
caught the figure of John standing before her. 

" Is it done ?" said he. 

" It is done," said Ellen smiling, as she rose up to let him 
come. He sat down to look at it. 
VOL. II. 2 



26 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



** It is very well," he said, — " better than T expected, — it 
is very well indeed. Is this your first trial, Ellen ?" 
Yes— the first." 

" You found it pleasant work ?" 

" very ! — very pleasant. I like it dearly." 

" Then I will teach you. This shows you have a taste for 
it, and that is precisely what I wanted to find out. I will 
give you an easier copy next time. I rather expected when 
you sat down," said he, smiling a little, " that the old tree 
would grow a good deal more crooked under your hands than 
I meant it to be." 

Ellen blushed exceedingly. " I do believe, Mr. John," 
said she, stammering, " that you know everything I am 
thinking about." 

*' I might do that, Ellen, without being as wise as an ora- 
cle. But I do not expect to make any very painful dis- 
coveries in that line." 

Ellen thought, if he did not, it would not be her fault. She 
truly repented her momentary anger and hasty speech to 
William. Not that he did not deserve it, or that it was not 
true ; but it was unwise, and had done mischief, and " it was 
not a bit like peacemaking, nor meek at all," Ellen said to 
herself. She had been reading that morning the fifth chap- 
ter of Matthew, and it ran in her head, " Blessed are the 
meek," — " Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be 
called the children of God." She strove to get back a plea- 
sant feeling toward her young companions, and prayed that 
she might not be angry at anything they should say. She 
was tried again at tea-time. 

Miss Sophia had quitted the table, bidding William hand the 
doughnuts to those who could not reach them. Marianne took 
a great while to make her choice. Her brother grew impatient. 

" Well I hope you have suited yourself," said he. " Come, 
Miss Montgomery, don't you be as long ; my arm is tired. 
Shut your eyes, and then you'll be sure to get the biggest 
one in the basket." 

" No Ellen," said John, who none of the children thought 
was near, — it would be ungenerous — I wouldn't deprive 
Master William of his best arguments." 

What do you mean by my arguments ?" said Wilhaiu 
sharply. 



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27 



** General!}'-, those which are the most difficult to take in," 
answered his tormentor with perfect gravity. 

Ellen tried to keep from smiling, but could not ; and otherg 
of the party did not try. William and his sister were en- 
raged, the more because John had said nothing they could 
take hold of, or even repeat. Gilbert made common cause with 
them. 

" I wish I was grown up for once," said William. 
Will you fight rn,e sir ?" asked Gilbert, who was a mat- 
ter of three years older, and well grown enough. 
His question received no answer, and was repeated. 
" No, sir." 
" Why not sir ?" 

** I am afraid you'd lay me up with a sprained ankle," said 
John, " and 1 should not get back to Doncaster as quickly as 
I must." 

It is very mean of him," said Gilbert, as John walked 
away, — " I could Avhip him I know." 

" Who's that ?" said Mr. Howard Marshman. 
"John Humphreys," 

" John Humphreys ! You had better not meddle with him 
my dear fellow. It would be no particular proof of wisdom." 

"Why he is no such great affair," said Gilbert; "he's 
tall enough to be sure, but I don't believe he is heavier than 
I am." 

" You don't know, in the first place, how to judge of the 
size of a perfectly well-made man ; And in the second place 
/ was not a match for him a year ago ; so you may judge. — I 
do not know precisely," he went on to the lady he was walk- 
ing with, " what it takes to rouse John Humphreys, but when 
he is roused he seems to me to have strength enough for 
twice his bone and muscle. I have seen him do. curious 
things once or twice !" 

" That quiet Mr. Humphreys ?" 

"Humph!" said Mr. Howard, — "gunpowder is pretty 
quiet stuff so long as it keeps cool." 

The next day another matter happened to disturb Ellen. 
Margaret had received an elegant pair of ear-rings as a Christ- 
mas present, and was showing them for the admiration of her 
young friends. Ellen's did not satisfy her. 

" Aint they splendid ?" said she. "Tell the truth no^w 



28 



THE WIDE, WIDE W^ORLD. 



Ellen Montgomery, wouldn't you give a great deal if some- 
body would send you such a pair ?" 

" They are very pretty," said Ellen, but I don't think I 
care much for such things, — I would rather have the money." 

" you avaricious ! — Mr. Marshman !" cried Margaret, as 
the old gentleman was just then passing through the room, 
— " here's Ellen Montgomery says she'd rather have money 
than anything else for her present." 

He did not seem to hear her, and went out without mak- 
ing any reply. 

" O Margaret !" said Ellen, shocked and distressed, — " how 
could you ! how could you ! What will Mr. Marshman think ?" 

Margaret answered she didn't care what he thought. 
Ellen could only hope he had not heard. 

But a day or two after, when neither Ellen nor her friends 
were present, Mr. Marshman asked who it was that had told 
him Ellen Montgomery would like money better than any- 
thing else for her New Year's present." 

" It was I, sir," said Margaret. 

" It sounds very unlike her to say so," remarked Mrs. 
Chauncey. 

"Did she say so ?" inquired Mr. Marshman. 

** I understood her so," said Margaret, — " I understood her 
to say she wouldn't care for anything else." 

" I am disappointed in her," said the old gentleman ; " I 
wouldn't have believed it." 

" I do not beheve it," said Mrs. Chauncey quietly ; " there 
has been some mistake." 

It was hard for Ellen now to keep to what she thought 
right. Disagreeable feelings would rise when she remem- 
bered the impoliteness, the half sneer, the whole taunt, and 
the real unkindness of several of the young party. She found 
herself ready to be irritated, inclined to dislike the sight of 
those, even wishing to visit some sort of punishment upon 
them. But Christian principle had taken strong hold in 
little Ellen's heart; she fought her evil tempers manfully. 
It was not an easy battle to gain. Ellen found that resent- 
ment and pride had roots deep enough to keep her pulling up 
the shoots for a good while. She used to get alone when she 
could, to read a verse, if no more, of her Bible, and pray ; 
she could forgive William and Margaret moro easily then. 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



29 



Solitude and darkness saw many a prayer and tear of hers 
that week. As she struggled thus to get rid of sin and to 
be more like what would please God, she grew humble and 
happy. Never was such a struggle carried on by faith in 
him, without .success. And after a time, though a twinge of 
the old feeling might come, it was very slight ; she would 
bid William and Margaret good morning, and join them in 
any enterprise of pleasure or business, with a brow as un- 
clouded as the sun. They however were too conscious of 
having behaved unbecomingly towards their little stranger 
guest to be over fond of her company. For the most part 
she and Ellen Chauncey were left to each other. 

Meanwhile the famous needlebook was in a fair way to be 
finished. Great dismay had at first been excited in the breast 
of the intended giver, by the discovery that Gilbeit had 
consulted what seemed to be a very extraordinary fancy, in 
making the rose a yellow one. Ellen did her best to comfort 
her. She asked Alice, and found there were such things as 
yellow roses, and they were very beautiful too ; and besides 
it would match so nicely the yellow butterfly on the other 
leaf. 

I had rather it wouldn't match !" said Ellen Chauncey ; 
— " and it don't match the rose-colored silk besides. Are the 
yellow roses sweet?" 

" No," said Ellen, — " but this couldn't have been a sweet 
rose at any rate, you know." 

" Oh but," said the other, bursting out into a fresh passion 
of inconsolable tears, — " I wanted it should be the picture of 
a sweet rose ! — And I think he might have put a purple 
butterfly — yellow butterflies are so common ! I had a great 
deal rather have had a purple butterfly and a red rose !" 

What cannot, be cured, however, must be endured. The 
tears were dried, in course of time, and the needlebook with 
its yellow pictures and pink edges was very neatly finished. 
Ellen had been busy too on her own account. Alice had got 
a piece -of fine hnen for her from Aliss Sophia; the collar for 
Mr. Van Brunt had been cut out, and Ellen with great plea- 
sure had made it. The stitching, the strings, and the very 
button-hole, after infinite pains, were all finished by Thuisday 
night. She had also made a needlecase for Alice, not of so 
much pretension as the other one ; this was green morocco 



80 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



lined with crimson satin ; no leaves, but ribbon stitched in to 
hold papers of needles, and a place for a bodkin. Ellen 
worked very bard at this ; it was made with the extremest 
care, and made beautifully. Ellen Chauncey admired it very 
much, and anew lamented the uncouth variety of colors in 
her own. It was a grave question whether pink oi- yellow 
ribbons should be used for the latter ; Ellen Montgomery 
recommended pink, she herself inclined to yellow ; and tired 
of doubting, at last resolved to split the difference and put one 
string of each color. Ellen thought that did not mend mat- 
ters, but wisely kept her thoughts to herself. Besides the 
needlecase for Alice, she had snatched the time whenever 
she could get away from Ellen Chauncey to work at some- 
thing for her. She had begged Alice's advice and help ; and 
between them, out of Ellen's scraps of morocco and silk, they 
had manufactured a little bag of all the colors of the rainbow, 
and very pretty and tasteful withal. Ellen thought it a chef- 
d'oeuvre, and was unbounded in her admiration. It lay folded 
up in Avhite paper in a locked drawer ready for New Year's 
day. In addition to all these pieces of business John had 
begun to give her drawing lessons, according to his promise. 
These became Ellen's delight. She would willingly have 
spent much more time upon them than he would allow 
her. It was the most loved employment of the day. 
Her teacher's skill was not greater than the perfect gen- 
tleness and kindness with which he tauo-ht. Ellen thouo-ht 
of Mr. Howard's speech about gunpowder, — she could not 
understand it. 

" What is your conclusion on the whole ?" asked John one 
day, as he stood beside her mending a pencil. 

" Why," said Ellen, laughing and blushing, — " how could 
you guess what I was thinking about, Mr. John ?" 

" Not very difficult, when you are eyeing me so hard." 

" I was thinking," said Ellen, — " I don't know whether it 
IS right in me to tell it — because somebody said you" — 

- Well ?" 

" Were like gunpowder." 

" Very kind of somebody ! And so you have been in 
doubt of an explosion ?" 

*' No — I don't know — I wondered what he meant." 
Never believe what you hear said of people, Ellen; judge 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



31 



for yourself. Look here — that house has suffered from a 
severe gale of wind, I should think — all the uprights are 
slanting off to the right — can't you set it up straight?" 

Ellen laughed at the tumble-down condition of her house 
as thus pointed out to her, and set about reforming it. 

It w^as Thursday afternoon that Alice and Ellen were left 
alone in the library, several of the family having been called 
out to receive some visitors ; Alice had excused herself, and 
Ellen as soon as they were gone nestled up to her side. 

" How pleasant it is to be alone together, dear AHce ! — I 
don't have you even at night now. 

"It is very pleasant, dear Ellie ! Home will not look dis- 
agreeable again, will it? even after all our gayety here." 

" No indeed ! — at least your home won't — I don't know 
what mine will. Oh me ! I had almost forgotten aunt For- 
tune !— " 

" Never mind, dear Ellie ! You and I have each some- 
thing to bear — we must be brave and bear it manfully. 
There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, you 
know. We sha'n't be unhappy if we do our duty and love 
Him." 

" How soon is Mr. John going away ?" 
" Not for all next week. And so long as he stays, I do 
not mean that you shall leave me." 
Ellen cried for joy. 

" I can manage it with Miss Fortune I know," said Ahce. 
*' These fine drawing lessons must not be interrupted. John 
is very much pleased with your performances." 

'* Is he ?" said Ellen delighted ; — " I have taken all the pains 
I could." 

That is the sure way to success, Ellie. But, Ellie, I 
want to ask you about something. What was that you said 
to Margaret Dunscombe about wanting money for a New 
Year's present ?" 

" You know it then !" cried Ellen, starting up. " I'm 
so glad ! I wanted to speak to you about it so I didn't know 
w^hat to do, and I thought I oughtn't to. What shall I do 
about it, dear Alice ? How did you know ? George said 
you were not there." 

Mrs. Chauncey told me ; she thought there had been 
some mistake, or something wrong ; — how was it, Ellen ?" 



82 



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** Why," said Ellen, " she was showing us her ear-rings, 

and asking us what we thought of them, and she asked me 
if I wouldn't like to have such a pair ; and T thought 1 would 
a great deal rather have the money they cost, to buy other 
things with, you know, that I would like better ; and I said 
so ; "and just then Mr, Marshman came in, and she called out 
to him, loud, that I wanted money for a present, or would 
like it better than anything else, or something like that. 0, 
Alice, how I felt! I was frightened ; — but then I hoped llr. 
Marshman did not hear her, for he did not say anything ; but 
the next day George told me all about what she had been 
saying in there, and 0, it made me so unhappy !" said poor 
Ellen, looking very dismal. " What will Mr. Marshman 
think of me ? he will think I expected a present, and I never 
dreamed of such a thing ! it makes me ashamed to speak of 
it even ; and I cant bear he should think so — I can't bear it ! 
What shall I do, dear Ahce ?" 

" I don't know what you can do, dear EHie, but be patient. 
Mr. Marsliman vfill not think anything very hard of you, I 
dare say." 

" But I think he does already ; he hasn't kissed me since 
that as he did before ; 1 know he does, and I dont know what 
to do. How could Margaret say that ! oh how could she ! 
it was very unkind. — What can I do ?" said Ellen again, after 
a pause, and wiping away a few tears. " Couldn't Mrs. 
Chauncey tell Mr. Marshman not to give me anything, for 
that I never expected it, and would a great deal rather not ?" 

" Why no, Ellie, I do not think that would be exactly the 
best or most dignified way." 

" What then, dear Alice ? I'll do just as you say." 

" I would just remain quiet." 

" But Ellen says the things are all put on the plates in the 
morning ; and if there should be money on mine — 1 don't 
know what I should do, I should feel so badly. I couldn't 
keep it, Alice ! — I couldn't !" 

" Very well — you need not — but remain quiet in the mean- 
while ; and if it should be so, then say what you please, only 
take care that you say it in a right spirifr and in a right man- 
ner. Nobody can hurt you much, my child, while you keep 
the even path of duty ; poor Margarejt is' her own worst 
enemy." 



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33 



" Then if there should be money in the morning, I may tell 
Mr. Marshman the truth about it ?" 

Certainly — only do not be in haste ; speak gently." 
*' Oh I wish everybody would be kind and pleasant always !" 
said poor Ellen, but half comforted. 

" What a sigh was there !" said John, coming in. " What 
is the matter with my little sister ?" 

Some of the minor trials of life, John," said AHce, with a 
smile. 

What is the matter, Ellie?" 

** 0, something you can't help," said Ellen. 

** And something I mustn't know. Well, to change the 
<3cene, — suppose you go with me to visit the greenhouse and 
hot-houses. Have you see them yet?" 

" No," said Ellen, as she eagerly sprang forward to take 
his hand ; — " Ellen promised to go with me, but we have been 
so busy." 

" Will you come, Alice ?" 

" Not I," said Alice, — " I wnsb I could, but I shall be wanted 
elsewhere. 

" By whom I wonder so much as by me," said her brother. 
" However, after to-morrow I will have you all to myself." 

As he and Ellen were crossing the hall they met Mrs. 
Marshman. 

*' Where are you going, John ?" said she. 

" Where I ought to have been before, ma'am, — to pay ray 
respects to Mr. Hutchinson." 

" You've not see|| him yet ! that is very ungrateful of you. 
Hutchinson is one of your w^armest friends and admirers. 
There are few^ people he mentions with so much respect, or 
that he is so glad to see, as Mr. John Humphreys." 

" A distinction I owe, I fear, principally to my English 
blood," said John shaking his head. 

"It is not altogether that," said Mrs. Marshman lauo^hin gr • 
" though I do believe I am the only Yankee good Hutchinson 
has ever made up his mind entirely to like. But go and 
see him, do, he will be very much pleased." 

" Who is Mr. Hutcliinson ?" snid Ellen as they went on. 

" He is the gardener, or rather the head gardener. He 
came out with his master some thirty or forty years ago, but 
2* 



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34 



his old English prejudice, -will go to the grave with him, I 
believe." 

" But why don't he like the Americans ?" 

John laughed. "It would never do for me to attempt to 
answer that question, Ellie ; fond of going to the bottom of 
things as you are. We should just get to hard fighting about 
tea-time, and should barely make peace by mid-day to-morrow 
at the most moderate calculation. You shall have an answer 
to your question however." 

Ellen could not conceive what he meant, but resolved to 
wait for his promised answer. 

As they entered the large and beautifully kept gi-eenhouse 
Hutchinson came from the further end of it to meet them ; an 
old man, of most respectable appearance. He bowed very 
civilly, and then slipped his pruning knife into his left hand to 
leave the right at liberty for John, who shook it cordially. 

" And why 'aven't you been to see me before, Mr. John ? 
I have thought it rather 'ard of you, Miss h' Alice has come 
several times." 

"The ladies have more leisure, Mr. Hutchinson. You 
look flourishing here." 

" Why yes sir, — pretty middling, within doors ; but T don't 
like the climate, Mr. John, I don't like the climate, sir. 
There's no country like h' England, I believe, for my busi- 
ness. 'Ere's a fine rose, sir, — if you'll step a bit this wa}^ — 
quite a new kind — I got it over last h' autumn — the Palmer- 
ston it is. Those are fine buds, sir." 

The old man was evidently much plea^d to see his visitor, 
and presently plunged him deep into English politics, for 
which he seemed to have lost no interest by forty yeais' life 
in America. As Ellen could not understand what they were 
talking about, she quitted John's side and went wandering 
about by herself. Fiom the moment the sweet aromatic 
smell of the plants had greeted her she had been in a high 
state of delight ; and now, lost to all the world beside, from 
the mystery of one beautiful and strange green thing to ano- 
ther, she went wondering and admiring, and now and then 
timidly advancing her nose to see if something glorious was 
something sweet too. She could hardly leave a superb 
cactus, in the petals of which thvre was such a singular 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



35 



blending of scarlet and crimson as almost to dazzle her sight ; 
and if the pleasure of smell could intoxicate she would have 
reeled away from a luxuriant daphne odorata in full flower, 
over which she feasted for a long time. The variety of green 
leaves alone was a marvel to her ; some rough and brown- 
streaked, some shiniflg as if they were varnished, others of 
hair-like delicacy of structure, — all lovely. At last she stood 
still with admiration and almost held her breath before a 
white Camellia. 

What does that flower make you think of, Kllen ?" said 
John coming up ; his friend the gardener had left him to seek 
a newspapei- in which he wished to show him a paragraph. 

" I don't know," said Ellen, — " I couldn't think of any- 
thing but itself." 

" It reminds me of what I ought be — and of what I shall 
be if I ever see heaven ; — it seems to me the emblem of a 
sinless pure spirit, — looking up in fearless spotlessness. Do 
you remember what was said to the old Church of Sardis, — 
* Thou hast a few names that have not defiled their garments ; 
and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.' " 

The tears rushed to Ellen's eyes, she felt she was so very 
unhke this; but Mr. Hutchinson coming back prevented 
anything more from being said. She looked at the white 
Camellia ; it seemed to speak to her. 

" That's the paragraph, sir," said the old gardener, giving 
the paper to John. " 'Ere's a little lady that is fond of flowers, 
if I don't make a mistake ; this is somebody I've not seen 
before. Is this the little lady little Miss h'Ellen was telling 
me about ?" 

" I presume so," said John ; — she is Miss Ellen Mont- 
gomery, a sister of mine Mr. Hutchinson, and Mr. Marshman's 
guest." 

" By both names h' entitled to my greatest respect," said 
the old man, stepping back and making a very low bow to 
Ellen with his hand upon his heart, at which she could not 
help laughing. I am very glad to see Miss h' Ellen ; Avhat 
can I do to make her remember old 'Utchinson ? Would 
Miss h' Ellen like a bouquet?" 

Ellen did not venture to say yes, but her blush and spaik- 
ling eyes answered him. The old gardener understood her, 
and was as good as his word. He began with cutting a beau- 



S6 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



tiful sprig of a large purple geranium, then a slip of lemon 
myrtle. Ellen watched him as the bunch grew in his hand, 
and could hardl}'' believe her eyes as one beauty after ano- 
ther was added to what became a most elegant bouquet. And 
most sweet too ; to her joy th<^ delicious daphne and fragrant 
lemon blossom went to make part of it Her thanks, when 
it was given her, were made with few words but with all her 
face ; the old gardener smiled, and was quite satisfied that 
his gift was not thrown away. He afterwards showed them 
his hot-houses, where Ellen was astonished and very much 
interested to see ripe oranges and lemons in abundance, and 
pines too, such as she had been eating since -she came to 
Ventnor, thinking nothing less than that they grew so near 
home. The grapes had all been cut. 

There was to be quite a party at Ventnor in the evening of 
New Year's day. Ellen knew this, and destined her precious 
flowers for Alice's adornment. How to keep them in the 
meanwhile ? She consulted Mr. John, and according to his 
advice took them to Mrs. Bland the housekeeper, to be put 
in water and kept in a safe place for her till the time. She 
knew Mrs. Bland, for Ellen Chauncey and she had often gone 
to her room to work where none of the children would find 
and trouble them. Mrs. Bland promised to take famous care 
of the flowers, and said she would do it with the greatest 
pleasure. Mr. Marshman's guests, she added smiling, — must 
have everything they wanted. 

" What does that mean, Mrs. Bland ?" said Ellen. 

" Why, you see. Miss Ellen, there's a deal of company 
always coming, and some is Mrs. Gillespie's friends, and some 
Mr. Hov\'avd's, and some to see Miss Sophia more particularly, 
and S^^J^feJr-lpag to Mrs. Marshman, or the whole family 
mayt>,*v..^I|^^ C .V and then Mr. Marshman has an old English 
frierji*^ ||^c^' ;*^.:it he sets the greatest store by ; and them he 
calni^^llfc '/^ts ; and the best in the house is hardly good 
or the country either." 
* '.'I^^Mrfe 1 am one of Mr. Marshman's guests !" said Ellen, 
know what it meant." 

She saved out one little piece of rose-geranium from her 
flowers, for the gratification of her own nose ; and skipped 
ciway through the hall to rejoin her companions, very light- 
hearted indeed. 



CHAPTEK XXXIL 



This life, sae far's I understand, 
Is a' enchanted fairy-land, 
Where pleasure is the magic wand, 

That wielded right, 
Makes hours like minutes, hand in hand, 

Dance by fu' light. 

Burns. 

New Year's morning dawned. 

" How I wish breakfast was over !" — thought Ellen as she 
was dressing. However, there is no way of getting over this hfe 
but by going through it ; so when the bell rang she went 
down as usual. Mr. Marshman had decreed that he would 
not have a confusion of gifts at the breakfast table ; other 
people might make presents in their own way ; they must not 
interfere with his. Needlecases, bags, and so forth, must 
therefore wait another opportunity ; and Ellen Chauncey de- 
cided it would just make the pleasure so much longer, and 
was a great improvement on the old plan. " Happy New 
Years" and pleasant greetings were exchanged as the party 
gathered in the breakfast room ; pleasure sat on all faces, ex- 
cept Ellen's, and many a one wore a broad smile as they sat 
down to table. For the napkins were in singular disarrange- 
ment this morning ; instead of being neatly folded up on the 
plates, in their usual fashion, they were in all sorts of disor- 
der, — sticking up in curious angles, some high, some low, 
some half folded, some quite unfolded, according to the size 
and shape of that which they covered. It was worth while 
to see that long tableful, and the faces of the company, before 
yet a napkin was touched. An anxious glance at her own 
showed Ellen that it lay quite flat ; Ahce's, which was next, 
had an odd little rising in the middle, as if there were a small 
dumpling under it. Ellen was in an agony for this pause to 
come to an end. It was broken by some of the older persons. 



38 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



and then in a trice every plate was uncovered. And then 
what a buzz ! — pleasure and thanks and admiration, and even 
laughter. Ellen dreaded at first to look at her plate ; she be- 
thought her however that if she waited long slie would have 
to do it with all eyes upon her ; she lifted tlie napkin slowh'- 
* — yes — just as she feared — there lay a clean bank note — of 
what value she could not see, for confusion covered her ; the 
blood rushed to her cheeks and the tears to her eyes. She 
could not have spoken, and happily it was no time then ; 
everybody else was speaking ; she could not have been heard. 
She had time to cool and recollect herself ; but she sat with 
her eyes cast down, fastened upon her plate and the unfor- 
tunate bank bill, which she detested Avith all her heart. She 
did not know what Ahce had received ; she understood 
nothing that was going on, till Alice touched hei- and said 
gently, " Mr. Marshman is speaking to you, Ellen." 
" Sir !" said Ellen, starting. 

" You need not look so terrified," said Mr. Marshman, 
smiling, — " I only asked you if your bill was a counterfeit — 
something seems to be wrong about it." 

Ellen looked at her plate and hesitated. Her lip trembled. 

"What is it?" continued the old gentleman. " Is any- 
thing the matter." 

Ellen desperately took up the bill, and with burning cheeks 
marched to his end of the table. 

" I am very much obliged to you sir, but I had a great deal 
rather not ; — if you please — if you will please to be so good 
as to let me give it back to you — 1 should be very glad " — 

" Why hoity toity !" said the old gentleman, — " what's all 
this ? what's the matter ? don't you like it ? I thought I 
was doing the very thing that would please you best of all." 

" I am very sorry you should think so, sir," said Ellen, who 
had recovered a little breath, but had the greatest difficulty 
to keep back her tears ; — " I never thought of such a thing as 
your giving me anything, sir, till somebody spoke of it ; and 
I had rather never have anything in the world than that you 
should think what you thought about me." 

" What did I think about you ?" 

" George told me that somebody told you, sir, T wanted 
money for my present." 
" And didn't you say so ?" 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



39 



" Indeed I didn't, sir !" said Ellen with sudden fire. " I 
never thought of such a thing !" 
" What did you say then ?" 

*' Mai-praret was showino; us her ear-rinofs, and she asked 
me if I wouldn't like to have some like them ; and I couldn't 
help thinking I would a great deal rather have the money 
they would cost to buy something for Alice ; and just when 
I said so you came in, sir, and she said what she did. I was 
very much ashamed, I wasn't thinking of you, sir, at all, 
nor of New Year." 

"Then you would like something else better than money." 

" No sir, nothing at all if you please. If you'll only be so 
good as not to give me this I will be very much obliged to 
you indeed ; and please not to think I could be so shameful 
as you thought I was." 

Ellen's face was not to be withstood. The old gentleman 
took the bill from her hand, 

" I will never think anything of you," said he, " but what 
is the very tip-top of honorable propriety. But you make 
me ashamed now — what am I going to do with this ? here 
have you come and made me a present, and I feel very 
aAvkward indeed." 

" I don't care what you do with it, sir," said Ellen, laugh- 
ing, though in imminent danger of bursting into tears ; — " I 
am very glad it is out of my hands." 

" But you needn't think I am going to let you off so," said 
he ; — " you must give me half-a-dozen kisses at least to prove 
that you have forgiven me for making so great a blunder." 

" Half-a-dozen is too many at once," said Ellen, gayly ; — 
" three now, and three to-night." 

So she gave the old gentleman three kisses, but he caught 
her in his arms and gave her a dozen at least ; after which he 
found out that the waiter was holding a cup of coffee at his 
elboAV, and Ellen went back to her place with a very good 
appetite for her breakfast. 

After breakfast the needlecases were delivered. Both gave 
the most entire satisfaction. Mrs. Chauncey assured her 
daughter that she would quite as hef have a yellow as a red rose 
on the cover, and that she liked the inscription extremely ; 
which the httle girl acknowledged to have been a joint device 



40 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



of her own and Ellen's. Ellen's bag gave great delight and 
was paraded all over the house. 

After the bustle of thanks and rejoicing was at last over, and 
when she had a minute to herself, which Ellen Chauncey did not 
give her foi a good while, Ellen bethought her of her flowers, 
— a sweet gift still to be made. Why not make it now ? why 
should not Alice have the pleasure of them all day ? A bright 
thought ! Ellen ran forthwith to the housekeeper's room, 
and after a long; admirini^ look at her treasures, carried them 
glass and all to the library, where Alice and John often were 
in the morning alone. Alice thanked her in the way she liked 
best, and then the flowers were smelled and admired afresh. 

" Nothing could have been pleasanter to me, Ellie, except 
Mr. Marshman's gift." 

" And what was that, Alice ? I haven't seen it yet." 

Alice pulled out of her pocket a small round morocco case, 
the very thing that Ellen had thought looked hke a dumpling 
under the napkin, and opened it. 

" It's Mr. John !" exclaimed Ellen. " how beautiful !" 

Neither of her hearers could help laughing. 

" It is very fine, Ellie," said Alice ; " you are quite right. 
Now I know what was the business that took John to Ran- 
dolph every da}^ and kept him there so long, while I was 
wondering at him unspeakably. Kind, kind Mr. Marshman." 

"Did Mr. John get anything?" 

" Ask him, Ellie." 

" Did you get anything, Mr. John ?" said Ellen, going up 
to him where he was reading on the sofa. 

" I o-ot this," said John, handino- her a little book which 
lay beside him. 

" What is this ? Wime's — Wiem's — Life of Washington — 
Washington? he was — May I look at it ?" 

" Certainly !" 

She opened the book, and presently sat down on the floor 
where she was by the side of the L.ofa. Whatever she had 
found within the leaves of the book, she had certainly lost 
herself. An hour passed. Ellen had not spoken or moved 
except to turn over kaves. 

" Ellen !" said John. 

She looked up, her cheeks colored high. 



41 



" What have you found there ?" said he, smiHng. 

" a great deal ! But — did Mr. Marshman give 3'ou this ?" 

" No." 

" Oh !" said Ellen, looking puzzled, — " I thought you said 
you got this this morning." 

No, I got it last night. I got it for you, Ellie." 

" For me !" said Ellen, her color deepening very much, — 
" for me ! did you ? thank you ! — oh I'm so much obliged 
to you, Mr. John." 

*' It is only an answer to one of your questions." 

" This ! is it ? — I don't know what, I am sure. Oh I wish 
T could do something to please you, Mr. John !" 

You shall, Ellie ; you shall give me a brother's right 
again." 

Blushingly Ellen approached her lips to receive one of his 
grave kisses ; and then, not at all displeased, went down on 
the floor and was lost in her book. 

Oh the long joy of that New Year's day ! — how shall it 
be told ? The pleasure of that delightful book, in which she 
was wrapped the whole day ; even when called off, as she 
often was, by Ellen Chauncey to help her in fifty little matters 
of business or pleasure. These were attended to, and faith- 
fully and cheerfully, but the hook was in her head all the 
while. And this pleasure was mixed with Alice's pleasure, 
the flowers and the miniature, and Mr. Marshman's restored 
kindness. She never met John's or Alice's eye that day 
without a smile. Even when she went to be dressed her book 
went with her, and was laid on the bed within sight, ready 
to be taken up the moment she was at liberty. Ellen Chaun- 
cey lent her a white frock which was found to answer very 
well with a tuck let out ; and Alice herself dressed her. 
While this was doing, Margaret Dunscombe put her head in 
at the door to ask Anne, Miss Sophia's maid, if she was almost 
ready to come and curl her hair. 

" Indeed I can't say that I am. Miss Margaret," said Anne. 
I've something to do for Miss Humphreys, and Miss Sophia 
hasn't so much as done the first thino- towards beojinninor to 
get ready yet. It 11 be a good hour and more." 

Margaret went away exclaiming impatiently that she 
could get nobody to help her, and would have to wait till 
everybody was down stairs. 



42 



THE WIDE, WrOE WORLD. 



A few minutes after she heard Ellen's voice at the door of 
her room asking if she might come in. 

" Yes — who's that ? — what do you want ?" 
" I'll fix your hair if you'll let me," said Ellen. 
" You ? I don't believe you can." 

" yes I can ; I used to do mamma's very often ; I am 
not afraid if you'll trust me." 

" Well, thank you, I don't care if you try then," said Mar- 
garet, seating herself, — " it won't do any harm at any rate ; 
and 1 want to be down stairs before anybody gets here ; I 
think it's half the fun to see them come in. Bless me ! you're 
dressed and all ready." 

Margaret's hair was in long thick curls ; it was not a tri- 
fling matter to dress them. Ellen plodded through it patiently 
and faithfully, taking great pains, and doing the work well ; 
and then went back to Alice. Margaret's thanks, not very 
gracefully given, would have been a poor reward for the loss 
of three-quarters of an hour of pleasure. But Ellen was very 
happy in having done right. It was no longer time to read ; 
they must go down stairs. 

The New Year's party was a nondescript, — young and old 
together ; a goodly number of both were gathered from Ran- 
dolph and the neighboring country, There were games for 
the young, dancing for the gay, and a superb supper for all ; 
and the -big bright rooms were full of bright faces. It was a 
very happy evening to Ellen. For a good part of it Mr. 
Marsh man took possession of her, or kept her near him ; and 
his extreme kindness would alone have made the evening pass 
pleasantly ; she was sure he was her firm friend again. 

In the course of the evening Mrs. Chauncey found occasion 
to ask her about her journey up the river, without at all men- 
tionino- Maroaret or what she had said. Ellen answered that 
*»he had come with Mrs. Dunscombe and her daughter. 

" Did you have a pleasant time ?" asked Mrs. Chauncey. 

" Why no ma'am," said Ellen, — " I don't know — it was 
partly pleasant and partly unpleasant." 
What made it so, love ?" 

" I had left mamma that morning, and that made me un- 
happy." 

" But you said it was partly pleasant ?"' 

** that vi as because I had such a good friend on board/' 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



43 



said Ellen, her face lighting up, as his image came before 
her. 

" Who was that ?" 

" I don't know ma'am who he was." 

A stranger to you ?" 
" Yes ma'am — I never saw him before — I wish I could 
se<^ him again." 

" Where did you find him ?" 

" I didn't find him — he found me, when I was sitting up on 
the highest part of the boat." 
" And your friends with you?" 
''What friends?" 

" Mrs. Dunscombe and her daughter." 

*' No ma'am — they were down in the cabin." 

" And what business had vou to be wanderinof about the 
boat alone ?" said Mr. Marsh man good-hum oredly. 

'' They were strangers, sir," said Ellen, coloring a little. 

" W^ell so was this man — your friend — a stranger too, 
wasn't he ?" 

" he was a very different stranger," said Ellen smiling, 
— "and he wasn't a stranger long, besides." 

"W^ell you must tell me more about him, — come, I'm 
curious ; — Avhat sort of a strange friend was this ?" 

" He wasn't a strange friend," said Ellen laughing ; — " he 
was a very, very good friend ; he took care of me the whole 
day ; he was very good and ver}- kind." 

" What kind of a man?" said Mrs. CLauncey ; — "a gen- 
tleman ?" 

" yes ma'am !" said Ellen looking surprised at the ques- 
tion. " I am sure he was." 
" What did he look like ?" 

Ellen tried to tell, but the portrait was not very distitict. 

" W^hat did he wear ? Coat or cloak ?" 

" Coat — dark brown, I think." 

" This was in the end of October, wasn't it ?" 

Ellen thought a moment and answered " yes." 

" And you don't know his name ?" 

" No ma'am ; I wish I did." 

*• I can tell you," said Mrs. Chauncej^ smiling ; — " he is one 
of my best friends too, Ellen ; it is my brother, Mr. George 
Marshman." 



44 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



How Ellen's face crimsoned ! Mr. Marshman asked how 
she knew. 

" It was then he came up the river, jou know, sir ; and 
don't you remember his speaking of a little girl on board the 
boat who was traveling with strangers, and whom he endea- 
vored to befriend ? I had forgotten it entirely till a minute 
or two ago." 

" Miss Margaret Dunscombe !" cried George Walsh, 
" w^hat kind of a person was that you said Ellen was so fond 
of when you came up the river ?" 

" I don't know, nor care," said Margaret. *' Somebody 
she picked up somewhere." 

" It was Mr. George Marshman !" 

" It wasn't !" 

" Uncle George !" exclaimed Ellen Chauncey, running up 
to the group her cousin had quitted ; — " My uncle George ? 
Do you know uncle George, Ellen ?" 

" Very much — I mean — yes," said Ellen. 

Ellen Chauncey was delighted. So was Ellen Montgo- 
mery. It seemed to bring the w^iole family nearer to her, 
and they felt it too. Mrs. Marshman kissed her when she 
heard it, and said she remembered ver}^ well her son's speak- 
ing of her, and was very glad to find who it was. And now, 
Ellen thought, she would surely see him again some time. 

The next day they left Ventnor. Ellen Chauncey was 
very sorry to lose her new friend, and begged she would come 
again " as soon as she could." All the family said the same. 
Mr. Marshman told her she must give him a large place in 
her heart, or he should be jenlous of her " strange friend ;" 
and Alice was charged to bring her whenever she came to see 
them. 

The drive back to Carra-carra was scarcely less pleasant 
than the drive out had been ; and home, Ellen said, looked 
lovely. That is, Alice's home, which she began to think more 
her own than any other. The pleasure of the past ten days, 
though great, had not been unmixed ; the week that followed 
was one of perfect enjoyment. In Mr. Humphreys' house- 
hold there was an atmosphere of peace and purity that even 
a child could feel, and in w^hich such a child as Ellen throve 
exceedingly. The drawing lessons went on with great suc- 
cess ; other lessons were begun ; there were fine long walks. 



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45 



and charming sleigh -rides, and more than one visit to Mrs. 
Vawse ; and what Ellen perhaps liked best of all, the long 
evenings of conversation and reading aloud, and bright fire- 
lights, and brighter sympathy and intelligence and affection. 
That week did them all good, and no one more than Ellen. 

It was a httle hard to go back to Miss Fortune's and begin 
her old life there. She went in the evening of the day John 
had departed. They were at supper. 

" Well !" said Miss Fortune, as Ellen entered, — have you 
got enough of visiting ? I should be ashamed to go where I 
wasn't wanted, for my part." 

" I haven't, aunt Fortune," said Ellen. 

" She's been nowhere but what's done her good," said Mr. 
Van Brunt ; " she's reely growed handsome since she's been 
away." 

" Grown a fiddlestick !" said Miss Fortune. 

** She couldn't grow handsomer than she was before," said 
the old grandmother, hugging and kissing her little grand- 
daughter with great delight ; — " the sweetest posie in the 
garden she always was !" 

Mr. Van Brunt looked as if he entirely agreed with the old 
lady. That, while it made some amends for Miss Fortune's 
dryness, perhaps increased it. She remarked, that "she 
thanked heaven she could always make herself contented at 
home ;" which Ellen could not help thinking was a happiness 
for the rest of the world. 

In the matter of the collar, it was hard to say whether the 
giver or receiver had the most satisfaction. Ellen had 
begged him not to speak of it to her aunt ; and accordingly 
one Sunday when he came there with it on, both he and she 
were in a state of exquisite delight. Miss Fortune's attention 
was at last aroused ; she made a particular review of him, 
and ended it by declaring that " he looked uncommonly dan- 
dified, but she could not make out what he had done to 
himself ;" a remark which transported Mr. Van Brunt and 
Ellen beyond all bounds of prudence. 

Nancy's Bible, which had been purchased for her at Ran- 
dolph, was given to her the first opportunity. Ellen anxiously 
watched her as she slowly turned it over, her face showing 
however very decided approbation of the style of the gift. 
She shook her head once or twice, and then said, 



46 



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" What did you give this to me for, Ellen ?" 

" Because I wanted to give you something for NeAv Year," 
said Ellen, — " and I thought that would be the best thing, — 
if you would only read it, — it would make you so happy and 
good." 

" Vou are good, I believe," said Nancy, " but I don't 
expect ever to be myself — I don't think I could be. You 
might as well teach a snake not to wriggle." 

*' I am not good at all," said Ellen, — " we're none of us 
good," — and the tears rose to her eyes, — " but the Bible will 
teach us how to be. If you'll only read it I — please Nancy, 
do ! say you will read a little every day." 

*' You don't want me to make a promise I shouldn't keep, 
I guess, do you ?" 
• " No," said Ellen. 

Well I shouldn't keep that, so I won't promise it ; but I 
tell you what I will do, — I'll take precious fine care of it, and 
keep it always for your sake." 

" Well," said Elled sighing, — " I am glad you will even do 
so much as that. But Nancy — before you begin to read the 
Bible you may have to go where you never can read it, nor 
be happy nor good neither." 

Nancy made no answer, but walked away, Ellen thought, 
rather more soberly than usual. 

This conversation had cost Ellen some effort. It had not 
been made without a good deal of thought and some prayer. 
She could not hope she had done much good, but she had 
done her duty. And it happened that Mr. Van Brunt; 
standing behind the angle of the wall, had heard every word. 



CHAPIEE 



XXXIII. 



' If erst he wUlieil, now he longed sore." 

Fairfax. 

Ellen's life had nothing to mark it formanj^ months. The 
rest of the winter passed quietly away, eveiy day being full 
of employment. At home the state of matters was rather 
bettered. Either Miss Fortune was softened by Ellen's gentle 
inoffensive ways, and obedient usefulness ; or she had resolved 
to bear what could not be helped, and make the best of the 
little inmate she could not get rid of. She was certainly re- 
solved to make the most of her. Ellen was kept on the jump 
a great deal of the time ; she was runner of errands and maid 
of all work ; to set the table and clear it was only a trifle in 
the list of her every day duties ; and they were not ended 
till the last supper dish was put away and the hearth swept 
lip. Miss Fortune never spared herself and never spared 
Ellen, so long as she had any occasion for her. 

There were however long pieces of time that were left 
free ; these Ellen seized for her studies and used most dili- 
gently. Urged on by a three or four-fold motive. For the love 
of them, and for her own sake, — that John might think she 
had done well, — that she might presently please and satisfy 
Alice, — above all, that her mother's Avishes might be answered. 
This thought, whenever it came, was a spur to her efforts ; 
so was each of the others ; and Christian feeling added ano- 
ther and kept all the rest in force. Without this, indolence 
might have weakened, or temptation surprised her resolu- 
tion ; httle Ellen was open to both ; but if ever she found 
herself growing careless, from either cause, conscience was 
sure to smite her ; and then would rush in all the motives 
that called upon her to persevere. Soon faithfulness began 
to bring its reward. With dehght she found herself getting 
the better of difficulties, beginning to see a little through the 



48 



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mists of ignorance, making some sensible progress on the 
long road of learning. Study grew delightful ; her lessons 
with Alice one of her greatest enjoyments. And as they 
were a labor of love to both teacher and scholar, and as it 
was the aim of each to see quite to the bottom of every mat- 
ter, where it was possible, and to leave no difficulties behind 
them on the road which they had not cleared away, no won- 
der Ellen went forward steadily and rapidl3^ Reading also 
became a wonderful pleasure. Weems' Life of Washington 
was read, and read, and read over again, till she almost knew 
it by heart ; and from that she went to Alice's library, and 
ransacked it for what would suit her. Happily it was a well 
picked one, and Ellen could not light upon many books that 
would do her mischief. For those, Alice's wish was enough ; 
— she never opened them. Furthermore Alice insisted that 
when Ellen had once fairly begun a book she should go 
through with it ; not capriciously leave it for another, nor 
have half-a-dozen about at a time. But when Ellen had read 
it once she commonly wanted to go over it again, and seldom 
laid it aside until she had sucked the sweetness all out of it. 

As for drawing, it could not go on very fast while the cold 
weather lasted. Ellen had no place at home where she could 
spread out her paper and copies without danger of being dis- 
turbed. Her only chance was at the parsonage. John had 
put all her pencils in order before he went, and had left her 
an abundance of copies, marked as she was to take them. 
They, or some of them, were bestowed in Alice's desk ; and 
whenever Ellen had a spare hour or two, of a fine morning 
or afternoon, she made the best of her way to the mountain ; 
it made no difterence whether Alice were at home or not ; 
she went in, coaxed up the fire, and began her work. It 
happened many a time that Alice, coming home from a walk or 
a run in the woods, saw the httle hood and cloak on the 
settee before she opened the glass door, and knew very well 
how she should find Ellen, bending intently over her desk. 
These runs to the mountain were very frequent ; sometimes 
to draw, sometimes to recite, always to see Alice and be 
happy. Ellen grew rosy and hardy, and in spite of her sepa- 
ration from her mother, she was very happy too. Her ex- 
treme and varied occupation made this possible. She had 
no time to indulge useless sorrow ; on the contrary, her 



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49 



thoughts were taken up with agreeable matters, either doing 
or to be done ; and at night she was far too tired and sleepy 
to lie awake musing. And besides, she hoped that her 
mother would come back in the spring, or the summer at 
farthest. It is true Ellen had no liking for the kind of busi- 
ness her aunt gave her ; it was oftentimes a trial of temper 
and patience. Miss Fortune was not the pleasantest w^ork- 
mistress in the world, and Ellen was apt to wish to be doing 
somethinof else : but after all this was not amiss. Besides 
the discipline of character, these trials made the pleasant 
things with which they were mixed up seem doubly pleasant ; 
the disagreeable parts of her life relished the agreeable won- 
derfully. After spending the whole morning with Miss 
Fortune in the depths of housework, how delightful it was 
to forget all in drawing some nice little cottage with a bit of 
stone wall and a barrel in front ; or to go with Alice, in 
thought, to the south of France, and learn how the peasants 
manage their vines and make the wine from them ; or run over 
the Rock of Gibraltar with the monkeys ; or at another time, 
seated on a little bench in the chimney corner, Avhen the fire 
blazed up well, before the candles were lighted, to forget the 
kitchen and the supper and her bustling aunt, and sail round 
the world with Captain Cook. Yes — these things were all the 
sweeter for being tasted by snatches. • 

Spring brought new occupation ; household labors began 
to increase in number and measure ; her leisure times were 
shortened. But pleasures w^ere increased too. When the 
snow went off, and spring-like days began to come, and birds' 
notes were heard again, and the trees put out their young 
leaves, and the brown mountains were looking soft and green, 
Ellen's heart bounded at the sight. The springing grass was 
lovely to see ; dandelions were marvels of beauty ; to her 
each wild wood-flower was a never to be enough admired 
and loved wonder. She used to take long rambles with Mr. 
Van Brunt when business led him to the woods, sometimes 
riding part of the way on the ox-sled. Always a basket for 
flowers wt.nt along ; and when the sled stopped, she would 
wander all around seeking among the piled-up dead leaves 
for the white wind-flower, and pretty little hang- head 
Uvularia, and dehcate blood-root, and the wild geranium and 
columbine ; and many others the names of which she did not 

VOL. II. 3 



60 



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know. They were like friends to Ellen ; she gathered them 
affectionately as well as admiringly into her little basket, and 
seemed to purify herself in their pure companionship. Even 
Mr. Van Brunt came to have an indistinct notion that Ellen 
and flowers were made to be together. After he found what 
a pleasure it was-to her to go on these expeditions, he made 
it a point, whenever he was bound to the woods of a fine 
day, to come to the house for her. Miss Fortune might 
object as she pleased ; he always found an answer ; and at 
last Ellen to her great joy would be told, " Well ! go get 
your bonnet and be off with yourself." Once under the 
shadow of the big trees, the dried leaves crackling beneath 
her feet, and alone with her kind conductor, — and Miss 
Fortune and all in the world that was disagreeable was for- 
gotten — forgotten no more to be remembered till the walk 
should come to an end. And it would have surprised any- 
body to hear the long conversations she and Mr. Van Brunt 
kept up, — he, the silentest man in Thirl wall ! Their talk 
often ran upon trees, among which Mr, Van Brunt was at 
home, Ellen wanted to become acqujiinted with them, as 
well as with the little flowers that grew at their feet ; and 
he tried to teach her how to know each separate kind by the 
bark and leaf and manner of growth. The pine and hem- 
lock and fir were easily learnt ; the white birch too; beyond 
those at first she was perpetually confounding one with ano- 
ther. Mr. Van Brunt had to go over and over his instruc- 
tions ; never weary, always vastly amused. Pleasant lessons 
these were ! Ellen thought so, and Mr. Van Brunt thought 
so too. 

Then thei'e were walks with Alice, pleasanter still, if that 
could be. And even in the house Ellen managed to keep a 
token of spring-time. On her toilet-table, the three uncouth 
legs of which were now hidden by a neat dimity cover, there 
always stood a broken tumbler with a supply of flowers. 
The supply was very varied, it is true ; sometimes only a 
handful of dandelions, sometimes a huge bunch of lilac flow- 
ers, which could not be persuaded to stay in the glass without 
the help of the wail, against which it leaned in very undigni- 
fied style ; sometimes the bouquet was of really dehcate and 
beautiful wild flowers. All were charming in Ellen's eyes. 
. As the days grew long and the weather warm, Ahce and 



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51 



she began to make frequent trips to the Cat's back, and 
French eame very much into fashion. They generally took 
Sharp to ease the long way, and rested themselves with a 
good stay on the mountain. Their coming was always a joy 
to the old lady. She was dearly fond of them both, and de- 
lighted to hear from their lips the language she loved best. 
After a time they spoke nothing else when with her. She 
was well qualified to teach them ; and indeed her general 
education had been far from contemptible, though nature had 
done more for her. As the language grew familiar to them, 
she loved to tell and they to hear long stories of her youth 
and native country, — scenes and people so very different from 
all Ellen had ever seen or heard of ; and told in a lively sim- 
ple style which she could not have given in English, and with 
a sweet coloring of Christian thought and feeling. Many 
things made these visits good and pleasant. It was not the 
least of Alice's and Ellen's joy to carry their old friend some- 
thing that might be for her comfort in her lonely way of life. 
For even Miss Fortune now and then told Ellen "she might 
take a piece of that cheese along with her;" or "she won- 
dered if the old lady would like a little fresh meat? — she 
guessed she'd cut her a bit of that nice lamb ; she wouldn't 
want but a little piece." A singluar testimony this was to 
the respect and esteem Mrs. Vawse had from everybody. 
Miss Fortune very, very seldom was known to take a bit from 
her own comforts to add to those of another. The ruling 
passion of this lady was thrift ; her next, good housewifery. 
First, to gather to herself and heap up of what the world 
most esteems ; after that, to be known as the most thorough 
house-keeper and the smartest woman in Thirlwall, 

Ellen made other visits she did not like so well. In the 
course of the winter and summer she became acquainted with 
m#st of the neighborhood. She sometimes went with her 
aunt to a formal tea-drinking, one, two, three, or four miles 
off, as the case might be. They were not very pleasant. To 
some places she was asked by herself ; and though the peo- 
ple invariably showed themselves very kind, and did their best 
to please her, Ellen seldom cared to go a seco'id time ; liked 
even home and Miss Fortune better. There were a few ex- 
ceptions ; Jenny Hitchcock was one of her favorites, and 
Jane Huff was another ; and all of their respective families 



52 



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came in, with good reason, for a share of her regard, Mr. 
Juniper indeed excepted. Once they went to a quilting at 
Squire Dennison's ; the house was spotlessly neat and w^ell 
ordered ; the people all kind ; but Ellen thought they did not 
seem to know^ how to be pleasant. Dan Dennison alone had 
no stiffness about him. Miss Fortune remarked with pride 
that even in this family of pretension, as she thought it, the 
refreshments could bear no comparison with hers. Once they 
were invited to tea at the Lawsons' ; but Ellen told Alice, 
with much apparent disgust, that she never wanted to go 
again. Mrs. Van Brunt she saw often. To Thirlwall Miss 
Fortune never went. 

Twice in the course of the summer Ellen had a very great 
pleasure in the company of little Ellen Chauncey. Once 
Miss Sophia brought her, and once her mother ; and the last 
time tliey made a visit of two weeks. On both occasions 
Ellen w^as sent for to the parsonage and kept while the}' stayed ; 
and the pleasure that she and her little friend had together 
cannot be told. It was unmixed now. Rambling about 
through the w^oods and over the fields, no matter where, it 
was all enchanting ; helping Alice garden ; helping Thomas 
make hay, and the mischief they did his haycocks by tum- 
bling upon them, and the patience with which he bore it ; the 
looking for eggs ; the helping Margery churn, and the help- 
ing each other set tables ; the pleasant mornings and pleasant 
evenings and pleasant mid-days, — it cannot be told. Long 
to be remembered, sweet and pure, was the pleasure of tliose 
summer days, unclouded by a shade of discontent or disa- 
greement on either brow. Ellen loved the whole Marshman 
family now, for the sake of one, the one she had first known ; 
and little Ellen Chauncey repeatedly told her mother in pri- 
vate that Ellen Montgomery was the very nicest girl she had 
ever seen. They met W'ith joy and parted with sorrow, en- 
treating and promising, if possible, a speedy meeting again. 

Amidst all the improvement and enjoyment of these sum- 
mer months, and they had a great deal of both for Ellen, there 
was one cause of sorrow she could not help feeling, and it began 
to press more and more. Letters, — they came slowly, — and 
when they came they were not at all satisfactory. Those in 
her mother's hand dwindled and dwindled, till at last there 
came only mere scraps of letters from her ; and sometimes 



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53 



after a long interval one from Captain Montgomery would 
come alone. Ellen's heart sickened with long-deferred hope. 
She w^ondered what could make her mother neglect a matter 
so necessary for her happiness ; sometimes she fancied they 
were traveling about, and it might be inconvenient to wi-ite ; 
sometimes she thought, perhaps they were coming home with- 
out letting her know, and would suddenly surprise her some 
day and make her half lose her wits with joy.- But they did not 
come, nor write ; and whatever was the reason, Ellen felt it 
was very sad, and sadder and sadder as the summer went on. 
Her own letters became pitiful in their supplications for let- 
ters ; they had been very cheerful and filled with encourag- 
ing matter, and in part they were still. 

For a while her mind was diverted from this sad subject, 
and her brow cleared up, when John came home in August. 
As before, Alice gained Miss Fortune's leave to keep her at 
the parsonage the whole time of his stay, which was several 
weeks. Ellen wondered that it was so easily granted, but she 
was much too happy to spend time in thinking about it. Miss 
Fortune had several reasons. She was unwilhng to displease 
Miss Humphreys, and conscious that it would be a shame to 
her to stand openly in the wa}^ of Ellen's good. Besides, 
though Ellen's services were lost for a time, yet she said she 
got tired of setting her to Avork ; she liked to dash round the 
house alone, without thinking what somebody else was doing 
or ought to be doing. In short she liked to have her out of 
the way for a while. Furthermore, it did not please her that 
Mr. Van Brunt and her little handmaid were, as she express- 
ed it, "so thick." His first thought and his last thought, she 
said, she believed were for Ellen, whether he came in or went 
out ; and Miss Fortune was accustomed to be chief, not only 
in her own house, but in the regards of all who came to it. 
At any rate the leave was granted and Ellen Avent. 

And now was repeated the pleasure of the first week in Janu- 
ary. It would have been increased, but that increase was not 
possible. There was only the difference between lovely winter 
and lovely summer weather ; it was seldom very hot in Thirl wall. 
The fields and hills were covered with green instead of white; 
fluttering leaves had taken the place of snow-covered sprays 
and sparkling icicles ; and for the keen north and brisk north- 
wester, soft summer airs were blowing. Ellen saw no othej 



64 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



difference, — except that perhaps, if it could be, there was 
something more of tenderness in the manner of Alice and her 
brother towards her. No little sister could have been more 
cherished and cared for. If there was a change, Mr. Hum- 
phrej^s shared it. It is true he seldom took much part in 
the conversation, and seldomer was with them in an}' of their 
pursuits or pleasures. He generally kept by himself in his 
study. But whenever he did speak to Ellen his tone was 
particularly gentle and his look kind. He sometimes called 
her " My little daughter," which always gave Ellen great 
pleasure ; she would jump at such times with double zeal to 
do anything he asked her. 

Now draw'iig went on with new vigor under the eye of her 
master. A ■ many things beside. John took a great deal 
of pains wili, her in various ways. He made her read to him ; 
he helped her and Alice with their French ; he went with 
them to Mrs. Vawse's ; and even Mr. Humphreys went there 
too one afternoon to tea. How much Ellen enjoyed that 
afternoon ! They took with them a great basket of provi- 
sions, for Mrs. Vawse could not be expected to entertain so. 
large a party ; and boiTOwed Jenny Hitchcock's pon}^ which 
with old John and Sharp mounted three of the company ; 
they took turns in walking. Nobody minded that. The fine 
weather, the beautiful mountain-top, the general pleasure, 
Mr. Humphreys' uncommon spirits and talkableness, the 
oddity of their way of traveling, and of a tea-party up on the 
" Cat's back," and furthermore, the fact that Nancy stayed at 
home and behaved very well the whole time, all together filled 
Ellen's cup of happiness, for the time, as full as it could 
hold. She never foigot tliat afternoon. And the ride home 
was the best of all. I'he sun was low by the time they 
reached the plain ; long shadow^s lay across their road ; the 
soft air just stirred the leaves on the branches ; stillness and 
loveliness were over all things ; and down the mountain and 
along the roads through the open country, the whole wa}'-, 
John w^alked at her bridle ; so kind in his care of her, so 
pleasant in his talk to her, teaching her how to sit in the sad- 
dle and hold the reins and whip, and much more important 
things too, that Ellen thought a pleasanter thing could not 
be than to ride so. After that they took a great many rides, 
borrowing Jenny's pony or some other, and explored the 



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55 



beautiful country far and near. And almost daily John had 
up Sharp and gave Ellen a regular lesson. She often thought, 
and sometimes looked, what she had once said to him, *' I 
wish I could do something for you, Mr. John ;" — but he smiled 
at her and said nothing. 

At last he was gone. And in all the weeks he had been 
at home, and in many weeks before, no letter had come for 
Ellen. The thought had been kept from weighing upon her 
by the thousand pleasures that filled up every moment of his 
stay ; she could not be sad then, or only for a minute ; hope 
threw off the sorrow as soon as it was felt ; and slie forgot 
how time flew. But when his visit was over, and she went 
back to her old place and her old life at her aunt's, the old 
feeling came back in greater strength. She began again to 
count the days and the weeks ; to feel the bitter unsatisfied 
longing. Tears would drop down upon her Bible ; tears 
streamed from her eyes when she prayed that God would make 
her mother well and bring her home to her quickly, — oh 
quickly ! — and little Ellen's face began to wear once more 
something of its old look. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 



All was ended now, the hope, and the fear, and the sorrow. 
All the aching of heart, the restless, unsatisfied longing. 
All the dull deep pain, and constant angnish of patience ! 

Longfellow. 



One day in the early part of September, she was standing 
in front of the house at the little wicket that opened on the 
road. With her back against the open gate she was gently 
moving it to and fro, half enjoying the weather and the scene, 
half indulging the melancholy mood which drove her from 
the presence of her bustling aunt. The gurgling sound of the 
brook a few steps off was a great deal more soothing to her 
ear than Miss Fortune's sharp tones. By and by a horseman 
came in sight at the far end of the road, and the brook was 
forgotten. What made Ellen look at him so sharply ? Poor 
child, she was always expecting news. At first she could 
only see that the man rode a white horse ; then, as he came 
nearer, an odd looped-up hat showed itself, — and something 
queer in his hand, — what was it ? who is it ? — The old news- 
man ! Ellen Avas sure. Yes — she could now see his saddle- 
bags, and the white horse-tail set in a handle with which he 
was brushing away the flies from his horse ; the tin trumpet 
was in his other hand, to blow withal. He was a venerable 
old figure, with all his oddities ; clad in a suit of snuff brown, 
with a neat quiet look about him, he and the saddlebags and 
the white horse jogged on together as if they belonged to 
nothing else in the world but eacli other. In an ecstasy of 
fear and hope Ellen watched the pace of the old hoi se to see if 
it gave any sign of slackening near the gate. Her breath 
came short, she hardlv breatlied at all, she was trembling: 
from head to foot. Would he stop, or Avas he going on ! 
Oh the long agony of two minutes ! — He stopped. Ellen 
went towards him. 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



57 



" What little gal is this ?" said he. 

*' I am Ellen Montgomery, sir," said Ellen eagerly ; — " Misa 
Fortune's niece — I live here." 

Stop a bit," said the old man, taking up his saddlebags, — 
" Miss Fortune's niece, eh ? Well — I believe — as I've got 
somethin' for her — somethin' here — aunt well, eh ?" 

" Yes sir." 

" That's more than you be, aint it ?" said he, glancing 
sideways at Ellen's face. How do you know but I've got a 
letter for you here, eh ?" 

The color rushed to that face, and she clasped her hands. 

" No, dear, no," said he, — '* I ha'n't got Hny for you — it's 
for the old lady — there, run in with it, dear." 

But Ellen knew before she touched it that it was a foreign 
letter, and dashed into the house with it. Miss Fortune 
coolly sent her back to pay the postage. 

" When she came in again her aunt was still reading the 
letter. But her look, Ellen felt, was unpromising. She did 
not venture to speak ; expectation was chilled. She stood 
till Miss Fortune began to fold up the paper. 

" Is there nothing for me ?" she said then timidly. 

-No." 

" why don't she write to me !" cried Ellen, bursting into 
tears. 

Miss Fortune stalked about the room without any particu- 
lar purpose, as far as could be seen. 

" It is very strange !" said Ellen sorrowfully, — " I am 
afraid she is worse — does papa say she is worse ?" 

-No." 

- if she had only sent me a message ! I should think 
she might ; I wish she had ! — three words ! — does papa 
say why she don't write?" 

- No." 

- It is very strange !" repeated poor Ellen. 

" Your father talks of coming home," said Miss Fortune, 
after a few minutes, during which Ellen had been silently 
weeping. 

" Home ! — Then she must be better !" said Ellen with new 
lifd ; "does papa say she is better?" 
" No." 

" But what does he mean ?" said Ellen uneasily ; — " I don't 
3* 



58 



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see what he means ; he doesn't say she is worse, and he 
doesn't say she is better, — what does he say ?" 

" He don't say much about anything." 
Does he say when they are coming home ?" 

Miss Fortune mumbled something about " Spring," and 
whisked oft" to the buttery ; Ellen thought no more was to 
be got out of her. She felt miserable. Her father and her 
aunt both seemed to act sti angely ; and where to find com- 
fort she scarcely knew. She had one day been telling her 
doubts and sorrows to John. He did not try to raise her 
hopes, but said, " Troubles will come in this woi-ld, Ellie ; the 
best is to trust them and ourselves to our dear Saviour, and 
let trials drive us to him. Seek to love him more and to be 
patient under his will ; the good Shepherd means nothing but 
kindness to any lamb in his flock, — you may be sure of that, 
Ellie." 

Ellen remembered his words and tried to follow them now, 
but she could not be " patient under his will " yet, — not 
quite. It was very hard to be patient in such uncertainty. 
With swimming eyes she turned over her Bible in search of 
comfort, and found it. Her eye lit upon words she knew 
very well, but that were like the fresh sight of a friend's face 
for all that, — " Let not your heart be troubled ; ye believe in 
God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many 
mansions." There is no parting there, thought little Ellen. 
She cried a long time ; but she was comforted nevertheless. 
The heart that rests on the blessed One who said those words 
can never be quite desolate. 

For several days things went on in the old train, only her 
aunt, she thought, was sometimes rather queer, — not quite as 
usual in her manner towards her. Wr. Van Brunt was not 
rather but veri/ queer ; he scarce spoke or looked at Ellen ; 
bolted down his food and was off without a word ; and ev^en 
stayed away entirely from two or three meals. She saw no- 
body else. Weather and other circumstances prevented her 
going to the mountain. 

One afternoon she was giving her best attention to a 
French lesson, when she heard herself called. Miss For- 
tune was in the lower kitchen dipping candles. Ellen ran 
down. 

** I don't know what's got into these candles," said Miss 



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59 



Fortune, — " I can't make 'em hang together ; the tallow aint 
good, 1 guess. Where's the nearest place they keep bees ?" 

" They have got bees at Mrs. Hitchcock's," said Ellen. 

** So they have in Egypt, for anything I know," said her 
aunt ; — " one would be about as much good now as t'other. 
Mrs. Lowndes ! — that aint far off. Put on your bonnet, 
El!en, and run over there, and ask her to let me have a httle 
bees-wax. I'll pay her in something she hkes best." 

** Does Mrs. Lowndes keep bee-hives ?" said Ellen doubt- 
fully. 

" No — she makes the bees- wax herself," said Miss Fortune, 
in the tone she always took when anybody presumed to sup- 
pose she might be mistaken in anything. 

" How much shall 1 ask her for ?" said Ellen. 
O 1 don't know — a pretty good piece." 

Ellen was not very clear what quantity this might mean. 
However she wisely asked no more questions, and set out 
upon her walk. It was hot and disagreeable ; just the time 
of day when the sun had most power, and Mrs. Lowndes' 
house was about half way on the road to Alice's. It was not 
a place where Ellen liked to go, though the people always 
made much of her ; she did not fancy them, and regularly 
kept out of their way when she could. Miss Mary Lawson 
was sitting with Mrs. Lowndes and her daughter when Ellen 
came in and briefly gave her aunt's message. 

" Bees-wax," said Mrs, Lowndes, — " well, I don't know — 
How much does she want ?" 

" I don't know, ma'am, exactly ; she said a pretty good 
piece." 

" What's it for ? do you know, honey ?" 

" I believe it's to put in some tallow for candles," said 
Ellen ; — " the tallow was too soft she said." 

" I didn't know ^liss Fortune's tallow was ever anything 
but the hardest," said Sarah Lowndes. 

" You had better not let your aunt know you've told on 
her, Ellen," remarked Mary Lawson ; " she won't thank you." 

"Had she a good lot of taller to make up ?" inquired the 
mother, preparing to cut her bees-wax. 

" I don't know ma'am ; she had a big kettle, but I don't 
know how full it was." 

You may as well send a good piece, ma, while you are 



60 



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about it," said the daughter ; — " and ask her to let us 
have a piece of her sage cheese, will you ?" 

" Is it worth while to weigh it ?" whispered Mrs. Lowndes. 

Her daughter answered in the same tone, and Miss Mary 
joining them, a conversation of some length went on over the 
bees-wax which Ellen could not hear. The tones of the 
speakers became lower and lower ; till at lengtli her own 
name and an incautious sentence were spoken more distinctly 
and reached her. 

" Shouldn't you think Miss Fortune might put a black rib- 
band at least on her bonnet ?" 
Anybody but her would." 

*' Hush ! " They whispered again under breath. 

The words entered Ellen's heart like cold iron. She did 
not move, hand or foot ; she sat motionless w^th pain and 
fear, yet what she feared she dared not think. When the 
bees-wax was given her she rose up from her chair and stood 
gazing into Mrs. Lowndes' face as if she had lost her senses. 

"My goodness, child, how you look!" said tliat lady. 
"What ails you, honey ?" 

Ma'am," said Ellen, — " what was that you said, about — " 

" About what, dear ?" said Mrs. Lowndes, with a startled 
look at the others. 

About — a riband — " said Ellen, struggling to get the 
words out of white lips. 

''My goodness!" said the other; — "did you ever hear 
anything like that? — I didn't say nothing about a riband, 
dear." 

"Do you suppose her aunt ha'n't told her?" said Miss 
Mary in an under tone. 

" Told me what ?" cried Ellen ;— " Oh what ?— what ?" 

"I wish I was a thousand miles off!" said Mrs. Lowndes ; 
— " I don't know, dear — I don't know what it is — Miss Alice 
knows." 

" Yes, ask Miss Ahce," said Mary Lawson ; — " she knows 
better than we do," 

Ellen looked doubtfully from one to the other ; then as 
" Go ask Miss Alice," was repeated on all sides, she caught 
up her bonnet and flinging the bees-wax from her hand dart- 
ed out of the house. Those she had left looked at each other 
a minute in silence. 



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61 



" Aint that too bad now !" exclaimed Mrs. Lowndes, cross- 
ing the room to shut the door. But what could I say ?" 
" Which way did she go ?" 

** I don't know 1 am sure — I had no head to look, or any- 
thing else, I wonder if I had ought to ha' told her. — But I 
couldn't ha' done it." 

"Just look at her bees- wax !" said Sarah Lowndes. 

" She will kill herself if she runs up the mountain at that 
rate," said Mary Lawson. 

They all made a rush to the door to look after her. 

" She aint in sight," said Mrs. Lowndes ; — " if she's gone 
the way to the Nose she's got as far as them big poplars 
already, or she'd be somewhere this side of 'em where we 
could see her." 

" You hadn't ought to ha' let her go, 'ma, in all this sun," 
said Miss Lowndes. 

" I declare," said Mrs. Lowndes, she scared me so I 
hadn't three idees left in my head. I wish I knew where she 
was, though, poor little soul !" 

Ellen was far on her way to the mountain, pressed forward 
by a fear that knew no stay of heat or fatigue ; they wei-e 
little to her that day. She saw nothing on her way ; all 
within and without was swallowed up in that one feeling ; yet 
she dared not think what it was she feared. She put that 
by. Ahce knew, AYicq would tell ; on that goal her 
heart fixed, to that she pressed oiS^i but oh, the while, 
what a cloud was gathering over her spirit, and growing- 
darker and darker. Her hurry of mind and hurry of body 
made each other worse ; it must be so; and when she at last 
ran round the corner of the house and burst in at the glass 
door she was in a frightful state. 

Alice started up and faced her as she came in, but with a 
look that stopped Ellen short. She stood still ; the color in 
her cheeks, as her eyes read Alice's, faded quite away ; words 
and the power to speak them were gone together. Alas ! 
the need to utter them was gone too. Alice burst into teai s 
and held out her arms, saying only, " My poor child !" Ellen 
reached her arms, and strength and spirit seemed to fail 
there. Alice thought she had fainted ; she laid her on the 
sofa, called Margery, and tried the usual things, weeping bit- 
terly herself as she did so. It was not fainting however ; 



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Ellen's senses soon came back ; but she seemed like a person 
stunned with a great blow, and Alice wished grief had had 
any other effect upon her. It lasted for days. A kind of 
stupor hung over her; tears did not come ; the violent stiain 
of every nerve and feeling seemed to have left her benumbed. 
She would sleep long heavy sleeps the greater part of the 
time, and seemed to have no power to do anything else. 

Her adopted sister watched her constantly, and for those 
days lived but to watch her. She had heard all Ellen's story 
from Mary Lawson and Mr. Van Brunt; who had both been 
to the parsonage, one on Mrs. Lowndes' part, the other on 
his own, to ask about her ; and she dreaded that a violent fit 
of illness might be brought on by all Ellen had undergone. 
She was mistaken, however. Ellen was not ill ; but her 
whole mind and body bowed under the weight of the blow 
that had come upon her. A.s the first stupor wore oflF there 
were indeed more lively signs of grief ; she would weep till 
she wept her eyes out, and that often, but it was very quiet- 
ly ; no passionate sobbing, no noisy crying ; sorrow had taken 
too strong^ hold to be struooled with, and Ellen meekly bowed 
her head to it. Alice saw this with the greatest alarm. She 
had refused to let her go back to her aunt's ; it Avas impossi- 
ble to do otherwise ; yet it may be that Ellen would have 
been better there. The busy industry to which she would 
have been forced at home might have roused her ; as it Avas, 
nothing drew her, and nothing could be found to draw her, 
from her own thoughts. Her interest in everything seemed 
to be gone. Books had lo^t their charm. Walks and drives 
and staying at home Averc all one, except indeed that she l ather 
liked best the latter. Appetite failed ; her cheek grcAv colorless ; 
and Alice began to fear that if a stop were not soon put to 
this madual sinkinjr it Avould at last end Avith her life. But 
all her eflbrts Avei e Avithout fruit ; and the Avinter was a sor- 
roAvful one not to Ellen alone. 

As it Avore on, there came to be one thing in Avhicli Ellen 
again took pleasute, and that Avas her Bible. She used to 
get alone or into a corner with it, and turn the leaves over 
and over ; looking out its gentle promises and SAveet comfort- 
ing Avords to the Aveak and the sorroAving. She loved to read 
about Christ, — all he said and did ; all his kindness to his 
people and tender care of them ; the love shoAvn them here 



THE WIDE, W.DE WORLD. 63 



and the joys prepared for them hereafter. She began to 
ding more to that one unchangeable- friend from whose love 
neither hfe nor death can sever those that believe in him ; and 
her heart, tossed and shaken as it had been, began to take 
rest again in that happy resting-place with stronger affection 
and even with greater joy than ever before. Yet for all that, 
this joy often kept company with bitter weeping ; the stirring 
of anything like pleasure roused sorrow up afresh ; and 
though Ellen's look of sadness grew less dark, Alice could 
not see that her face was at all less white and thin. She 
never spoke of her mother, after once hearing when and where 
she had died ; she never hinted at her loss, except exclaim- 
ing in an agony, " I shall get no more letters !" and Alice 
dared not touch upon what the child seemed to avoid so care- 
fully ; though Ellen sometimes wept on her bosom, and often 
sat for hours still and silent with her head in her lap. 

The time drew nigh when John was expected home for the 
holidays. In the mean while they had had many visits from 
other friends. Mr. Van Brunt had come several times, enough 
to set the whole neigliborhood a wondering if they had only 
known it ; his good old mother oftener still. Mrs. Vawse as 
often as possible. Miss Fortune once ; and that because, as 
she said to herself, " ever\ body would be talking about what 
was none of their business if she didn't.' As neither she nor 
Ellen knew in the least what to say to each other, the visit 
was rather a dull one, spite of all Alice could do. Jenny 
Hitchcock and the Huff's and the Dennisons, and others, came 
now and then ; but Ellen did not like to see any of them all 
but Mrs. Vawse. Alice longed for her brother. 

He came at last, just before New Year's. It was the mid- 
dle of a fine afternoon, and Alice and her father had gone in 
the sleigh to Carra-carra. Ellen had chosen to stay behind, 
but Margery did not know this, and of course did not tell 
John. After paying a visit to her in the kitchen he had 
come back to the empty sitting-room, and was thoughtfully 
walking up and down the floor, when the door of Alice's 
room slowly opened and Ellen appeared. It was never her 
way, when she could help it, to show violent feeling before 
ether people ; so she had been trying to steel herself to meet 
John without crying, and now came in with her little grave 



64 



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face prepared not to give way. His first look had like to 
overset it all. 

" Ellie !" said he ; — I thought everybody was gone. My 
dear Ellie ! 

Ellen could hardly stand the tone of these three words, and 
she bore with the greatest difficulty the kiss that followed 
them ; it took but a word or two more, and a glance at tlie 
old look and smile, to break down entirely all her guard. 
According to her usual fashion she was rushing away ; but 
John held her fast, and though gently drew her close to him. 

" I will not let you forget that I am your brother, Ellie," 
said he. 

Ellen hid her face on his shoulder and cried as if she had 
never cried before. 

" Ellie," said he after a while, speaking low and tenderly, 
*' the Bible says, * We have known and believed the love that 
God hath toward us — have you remembered and believed 
this lately ?" 

Ellen did not answer. 

" Have you remembered that God loves every sinner that 
has believed in his dear Son ? — and loves them so well that 
he will let nothing come near them to harm them ? — and 
loves them never better than when he sends bitter trouble on 
them ? It is wonderful ! but it is true. Have you thought 
of this, Ellie ?" 

She shook her head. 

" It is not in anger he does it ; — it is not that he has for- 
gotten you ; — it is not that he is careless of your trembling 
little heart, — never, never ! If you are his child, all is done 
in love and shall work good for you ; and if we often cannot 
see how, it is because we are weak and foolish, and can see 
but a very little way." 

Ellen listened, with her face hid on his shoulder. 

" Do you love Christ, Ellen ?" 

She nodded, weeping afresh. 

** Do you love him less since he has brought you into this 
great sorrow ?" 

" No," sobbed Ellen ; — " more.'" 

He drew her closer to his breast, and was silent a little 
while. 



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65 



" I am very glad to hear you say that ! — then all wili be 
well. And haven't you the best reason to think that all is 
well with your dear mother ?" 

Ellen almost shrieked. Her mother's name had not been 
spoken before her in a great while, and she could hardly 
bear to hear it now. Her whole frame quivered with hys- 
terical sobs. 

Hush, Ellie !" said John, in a tone that, low as it was, 
somehow found its way through all her agitation, and calmed 
her like a spell ; — " have you not good reason to beheve that 
all is well with her ?" 

" yes ! — oh yes !" 
She loved and trusted him too ; and now she is with him — - 
she has reached that bright home where there is no more sin, 
nor sorrow, nor death." 

" Nor parting either," sobbed Ellen, whose agitation was 
excessive. 

" ISTor parting ! — and though we are parted from them, it 
is but for a little ; let us watch and keep our garments clean, 
and soon we shall be all together, and have done with tears 
for ever. She has done with them now. — Did you hear from 
her again ?" 

Oh no ! — not a word !" 

" That is a hard trial. — But in it all, believe, dear 'EUie, 
the love that God hath toward us ; — remember that our dear 
Saviour is near us, and feels for us, and is the same at all 
times. — And don't cry so, Ellie." 

He kissed her once or twice, and begged her to calm her- 
self. For it seemed as if Ellen's very heart was flowing away 
in her tears ; yet they were gentler and softer far than at the 
beginning. The conversation had been a great relief. The 
silence between her and Alice on the thing always in her 
mind, a silence neither of them dared to break, had grown 
painful. The spell was taken off ; and though at first Ellen's 
tears knew no measure, she was easier even then ; as John 
soothed her and went on with his kind talk, gradually leading 
it away from their first subject to other things, she grew 
not only calm but more peaceful at heart than months had 
Been hei'. She was quite herself again before Alice came home. 
You have done her good already," exclaimed Alice, as 



66 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



soon as Ellen was out of the room ; — " I knew you would ; I 
saw it in her face as soon as I came in." 

" It is time," said her brother. " She is a dear little thing !" 

The next day, in the middle of the morning, Ellen, to her 
great surprise, saw Sharp brought before the door with the 
side-saddle on, and Mr. John carefully looking to the girtli 
and shortening the stirrup. 

" Why Alice," she exclaimed, — ''what is Mr. John going 
to do?"' 

" I don't know, Ellie, I am sure ; he does queer things 
sometimes. What makes you ask ?" 

Before she could answer he opened the door. 

" Come Ellen — go and get ready. Bundle up well, for it 
is rather frosty. Alice, has she a pair of gloves that are 
warm enough ? Lend her yours, and I'll see if I can find 
some at Thirlwall." 

Ellen thought she would rather not go ; to anybody else 
she would have said so. Half a minute she stood still — then 
went to put on her things. 

" Alice, you will be ready by the time we get back ? — in 
half an hour." 

Ellen had an excellent lesson, and her master took care 
it should not be an easy one. She came back looking as she 
had not done all winter. Alice was not quite ready ; while 
waiting for her John went to tlie bookcase and took down 
the first volume of " Rollin's Ancient History ;" and giving it 
to Ellen, said he would talk with her to-morrow about the first 
twenty pages. The consequence was, the hour and a half of 
their absence instead of being moped away was spent in hard 
study. A pair of gloves was bought at Thirlwall ; Jenny 
Hitchcock's pony was sent for ; and after that, every day 
when the weather would at all do they took a long ride. 
By degrees reading and drawing and all her studies were 
added to the history, till Ellen's time was well filled with 
business again, Alice had endeavored to bring this about 
before, but fruitlessly. What she asked of her Ellen indeed 
tried to do ; what John told her ivas done. She grew a 
different creature. Appetite came back ; the color sprang 
again to her cheek ; hope, — meek and sober as it was, — 
relighted her eye. In her eagerness to please and satisfy 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



67 



her teacher her whole soul was given to the performance of 
whatever he wished her to do. The effect was all that he 
looked for. 

The second evening after he came John called Ellen to his 
side, saying he had something he wanted to read to her. It 
was before candles were brought, but the room was full of 
light from the blazing wood fire. Ellen glanced at his book 
as she came to the sofa ; i» was a largish volume in a black 
leather cover a good deal worn ; it did not look at all in- 
teresting. 

" What is it ?" she asked. 
It is called," said John, " ' The Pilgrim's Progress from 
this world to^a better.' " 

Ellen thouo;ht it did not sound at all interesting-. She had 
never been more mistaken in her life, and that she found 
almost as soon as he begun. Her attention was nailed ; the 
listless careless mood in which she sat down was changed for 
one of rapt delight ; she devoured every word that fell from 
the reader's lips ; indeed they were given their fullest effect 
by a very fine voice and singularly fine reading. Whenever 
anything might not be quite clear to Ellen, John stopped to 
make it so ; and with his help, and without it, many a lesson 
went home. Next day she looked a long time for the book ; 
it could not be found ; she was forced to wait until evening. 
Then to her great joy, it was brought out again, and John 
asked if she wished to hear some more of it. After that, every 
evening while he was at home they spent an hour with the 

Pilgrim." Alice would leave her work and come to the 
sofa too ; and with her head on her brother's shoulder, her 
hand in his, and Ellen's face leanino- against his other arm, 
_ that was the common way they placed themselves to read and 
hear. No words can tell Ellen's enjoyment of those read- 
ings. They made her sometimes laugh and sometimes cry ; 
they had much to do in carrying on the cure which John's 
wisdom and kindness had begun. 

They came to the place where Christian loses his burden 
at the cross ; and as he stood looking and weeping, three 
shining ones came to him. The first said to him, " Thy sins be 
forgiven thee ; the second stripped him of his rags and clothed 
him with a change of raiment ; the third also set a mark on 
his forehead." 



68 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



John explained what was meant by the rags and the change 
of raiment. 

" And the mark in his forehead ?" said Ellen, 
" That is the mark of God's children — the change wrought 
in them by the Holy Spirit, — the change that makes them 
different from others, and different from their old selves." 
" Do all Christians have it ?" 

" Certainly. None can be a Christian without it." 

" But how can one tell whether one has it or no ?" said 
Ellen very gravely. 

" Carr}^ your heart and life to the Bible and see how they 
agree. The Bible gives a great many signs and descriptions 
by which Christians may know themselves, — know both what 
they are and what they ought to be. If you find your own 
feelings and manner of life at one with these Bible words, you 
may hope that the Holy Spirit has changed you and set his 
mark upon you." 

*' I wish you would tell me of one of those places," said 
Ellen. 

The Bible is full of them. ' To them that believe Christ 
is precious,^ — there is one. ' If ye love me, keep my com- 
mandments — ' He that saith he abideth in him ought him- 
self also so to walk even as he ivalked ;' — ' liow love I thy 
law.'' The Bible is full of them, Ellie ; but you have need to 
ask for great help when you go to try yourself by them ; the 
heart is deceitful." 

Ellen looked sober all the rest of the evening, and the next 
day she pondered the matter a good deal. 

I think I am changed," she said to herself at last. "I 
didn't use to like to read the Bible, and now 1 do very much ; 
— I never liked praying in old times, and now, what should 
I do without it ! — I didn't love J esus at all, but I am sure I 
do now. 1 don't keep his commandments, but I do try to 
keep them ; — I must be changed a little. I wish mamma 
had known it before ," 

Weeping with mixed sorrow and thankful joy, Ellen bent 
her head upon her little Bible to pray that she might be more 
changed ; and then, as she often did, raised the cover to look 
at the texts in the beloved handwriting. 

" I love them that love me, and they that seek me early 
shall find me." 



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69 



Ellen's tears were blinding her. " That has come true," 
she thought. 

" I will be a God to thee and to thy seed after thee." 

" That has come true too !" she said, almost in surprise, — 
" and mamma believed it would." — And then, as by a flash, 
came back to her mind the time it was written ; she remem- 
bered how when it was done her mother's head had sunk 
upon the open page ; she seemed to see again the thin fin- 
gers tightly clasped ; — she had not understood it then ; she 
did now ! " She was praying for me," thought Ellen, — 
" she was praying for me ! she beheved that would come 
true." 

The book was dashed down, and Ellen fell upon her knees 
in a perfect agony of weeping. 

Even this, when she was calm again, served to steady her 
mind. There seemed to be a link of communion between 
her mother and her that was wanting before. The promise, 
written and believed in by the one, realized and rejoiced in 
by the other, was a dear sometliing in common, though one 
had in the meanwhile removed to heaven, and the other 
was still a lingerer on the earth. Ellen bound the words 
upon her heart. 

Another time, when they came to the last scene of Chris- 
tian's journey, Ellen's tears ran very fast. John asked if 
he should pass it over ? if it distressed her ? She said, Oh 
no, it did not distress her ; she wanted him to go on ; — and 
he went on, though himself much distressed, and Alice was 
near as bad as Ellen. But the next evening, to his surprise, 
Ellen begged that before he went on to the second part he 
would read that piece over again. And when he lent her 
the book, with only the charge that she should not go ' 
further than he had been, she pored over that scene with 
untiring pleasure till she almost had it by heart. In short, 
never was a child more comforted and contented with a book 
than Ellen was with the/* Pilgrim's Progress." That was a 
blessed visit of John's. Alice said he had come like a sun- 
beam into the house ; she dreaded to think what would be 
when he went away. 

She wrote him, however, when he had been gone a few 
weeks, that his will seemed to carry all before it, present or 



YO THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



absent. Ellen went on steadily mending ; at least she did 
not go back any. They were keeping up their rides, also 
their studies, most diligently ; Ellen was untiring in her 
efForte to do whatever he had wished her, and was springing 
forward, Alice said, in her improvement. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 



I keep his house, and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat, and make the beds 
and do all myself.— Shakspkare. 

The spring had come ; and Alice and Ellen were looking 
forward to pleasanter rides and walks after the sun should 
have got a little warmth and the snow should be gone ; when 
one morning in the early part of March Mr. Van Brunt made 
his appearance. Miss Fortune was not well, and had sent 
him to beg that Ellen would come back to her. He was 
sorry, he said ; — he knew Ellen was in the best place ; but 
her aunt wanted her, and "he s'posed she'd have to go." 
He did not know what was the matter with Miss Fortune ; 
it was a little of one thing and a little of another ; *' he s'posed 
she'd overdid, and it was a wonder for he didn't know she 
could do it. She thought she was as tough as a piece of 
shoe-leather, but even that could be wore out." 

Ellen looked blank. However she hurriedly set herself to 
get her things together, and with Alice's help in half an hour 
she was ready to go. 'J'he parting was hard. They held 
each other fast a good while, and kissed each other many 
times without speaking. 

Good-bye, dear Ellie," whispered Alice at last, — " I'll 
come and see you soon. Remember what John said when he 
went away." 

Ellen did not trust herself to speak. She pulled herself 
away from Alice, and turned to Mr. Van Brunt, saying by 
her manner that she was ready ; he took her bundle and they 
went out of the house together. 

Ellen made a manful eflfort all the way down the hill to 
stifle the tears that were choking her. She knew they 
would greatly disturb her companion, and she did succeed 
though with great difficulty in keeping them back. Luckily 
for her, he said hardly anything during the whole walk ; she 
could not have borne to answer a question. It was no fault 



72 



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of Mr. Yan Brunt's that he was so silent ; he was beating his 
brains the whole way to think of something it would do to 
say, and could not suit himself. His single remark was, 
" that it was like to be a fine spring for the maple, and he 
guessed they'd make a heap of sugar." 

When they reached the door he told her she would find 
her aunt up stairs, and himself tui ned off to the barn. Ellen 
stopped a minute upon the threshhold to remember the last 
time she had crossed it, — and the first time ; how changed 
everything now ! — and the thought came, was this now to be 
her home for ever ? She had need again to remember John's 
words. When bidding her good-bye he had said, My 
little pilgrim, I hope you will keep the straight road, and win 
the praise of the servant who was faithful over a few things." 

I will try !" thought poor Ellen ; and then she passed 
through the kitchen and Avent up to her own room. Here, 
without stopping to think, she took off her things, gave one 
strange look at the old familiar place and her trunk in the 
corner, fell on her knees for one minute, and then went to 
her aunt's room. 

" Come in !" cried Miss Fortune when Ellen had knocked. 
" Well Ellen, there you are. I am thankful it is you ; I was 
afraid it might be Mim}^ Lawson or Sarah Lowndes, or some 
of the rest of the set ; I know they'll all come scampering 
here as soon as they hear I'm laid up." 

** Are you very sick, aunt Fortune ?" said Ellen. 

*' La ! no, child ; I shall be up again to-morrow ; but I felt 
queer this morning somehow, and I thought I'd try lying 
down. 1 expect I've caught some cold." 

There Avas no doubt of this, but this was not all. Besides 
catching cold, and doing her best to bring it about. Miss 
Fortune had overtasked her strength ; and by dint of econ- 
omy, housewifery, and smartness, had brought on herself the 
severe punishment of lying idle and helpless for a much 
longer time than she at first reckoned on. 

" What can I do for you, aunt Fortune?" said Ellen. 

" nothing, as I know," said Miss Fortune, — " only let me 
alone and don't ask me anything, and keep people out of the 
house. Mercy ! my head feels as if it would go crazy ! 
Ellen, look here," said she, raising herself on her elbow, — " I 
won't have anybody come into this house, — if I he here till 



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73 



doomsday, I won't ! Now you mind me. I aint a going to 
have Mimy Lawson, nor nobody else, poking all round into 
every hole and corner, and turning every cheese upside down 
to see what's under it. There aint one of 'em too good for 
it, and they sha'n't have a chance. They'll be streaking 
here, a dozen of 'em, to help take care of the house ; but I 
don't care what becomes of the house — I won't have anybody 
in it. Promise me you won't let Mr. Van Brunt bring any 
one liere to help ; I know I can trust you to do what I tell 
you ; promise me !" 

Ellen promised, a good deal gratified at her aunt's last 
words ; and once more asked if she could do anything for 
her. 

"01 don't know !" said Miss Fortune, flinging herself 
back on her pillow ; — " I don't care what you do, if you only 
keep the house clear. There's the clothes in the basket 
under the table down stairs — you might begin to iron 'em ; 
they're only rough dry. But don't come asking me about 
anything ; I can't bear it. — Ellen, don't let a soul go into the 
buttery except yourself. — And Ellen ! I don't care if you 
make me a little catnip tea ; — the catnip's up in the store- 
room, — the furthest door in the back attic — here's the keys. 
Don't go to fussing with anything else there." 

Ellen thought the prospect before hel* rather doleful 
when she reached the kitchen. It was in order, to be sure, 
and clean ; but it looked as if the mistress was away. The 
fire had gone out, the room was cold ; even so little a matter 
as catnip tea seemed a thing far off and hard to come by. 
While she stood looking at the great logs in the fireplace, 
which she could hardly move, and thinking it was rather a 
dismal state of things, in came Mr. Van Bnmt with his good- 
natured face, and wanted to know if he could do anything for 
her. The very room seemed more comfortable as soon as his 
big figure was in it. He set about kindling the fire forthwith, 
while Ellen went up to the storeroom. A well-filled store- 
room ! Among other things, there hung at least a dozen 
bunches of dried herbs from one of the rafters. Ellen thought 
she knew catnip, but after smelling of two or three she be- 
came utterly puzzled and was fain to carry a leaf of several 
kinds down to Mr. Van Brunt to find out which was which. 
When she came down again she found he had hung on the 

VOL. II. 4 



74 



THE WIDE, V,1DE WORLD. 



kettle for her, and swept up the hearth ; so Ellen, wisely 
thinking it best to keep busy, put the ironing blanket on the 
table, and folded the clothes, and set the irons to the fire. 
By this time the kettle boiled. How to make catnip tea 
Ellen did not exactly know, but supposed it must folloAv the 
same rules as black tea, in the making of which she felt her- 
self very much at home. So she put a pinch or two of 
catnip leaves into the pot, poured a little water on them, and 
left it to draw. Meanwhile came in kind Mr. Van Brunt with 
an armfull or two of small short sticks for the fire, which 
Ellen could manage. 

" I wish I could stay here and take care of you all the 
while," said he ; " but I'll be round. If you want anything 
you must come to the door and holler." 

Ellen began to thank him. 

" Just don't say anything about that," said he, moving his 
hands as if he were shaking her thanks out of them ; "I'd 
back all the wood you could burn every day for the pleasure 
of having you hum again, if I didn't know you was better 
where you was; but 1 can't help that. Is'ow, who am I 
going to get to stay with you ? Who would you like to have." 

" Nobody, if you please, Mr. Van Brunt," said Ellen ; 
" aunt Fortune don't wish it, and I had rather not, indeed." 

He stood up and looked at her in amazement. 

*' Why you don't mean to say," said he, " that you are 
thinking, or she is thinking, you can get along here alone 
without help ?" 

" I'll get along somehow," said Ellen. " Never mind, 
please let me, Mr. Van Brunt ; it would worry aunt Fortune 
very much to have anybody ; don't say anything about it." 

''Worry her!" said he ; and he muttered something Ellen 
did not quite understand, about bringing the old woman to 
reason." 

How^ever he w^ent oflF for the present ; and Ellen filled up 
her teapot and carried it up stairs. Her old grandmother was 
awake ; before, when Ellen w as in the room, she had been 
napping ; now she showed the greatest delight at seeing her ; 
fondled her, kissed her, cried over her, and finally insisted 
on getting up directly and going down stairs. Ellen re- 
ceived and returned her caresses with great tenderness, and 
then began to help her to rise and dress. 



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75 



" Yes, do," said Miss Fortune ; " I shall have a little betier 
chance of sleeping-. My stars ! Ellen, what do you call this ?" 
Isn't it catnip ?" said Ellen, alarmed. 

" Catnip ! it tastes of nothing but the teakettle. It's as 
weak as dish water. Take it down and make some more. 
How much did you put in ? you want a good double hand- 
ful, stalks and all ; make it strong. I can't drink such stuff 
as that. I think if I could get into a sweat I should be better." 

Ellen went down, established her grandmother in her old 
corner, and made some more tea. Then, her irons being hot, 
she began to iron ; doing double duty at the same time, for 
Mrs. Montgomery had one of her talking fits on, and it was 
necessary to hear and answer a great many things. Presently 
the first visiter appeared in the shape of Nancy. 

" Well, Ellen !" said she ; " so Miss Fortune is really sick 
for once, and you are keeping house. Aint you grand !" 

I don't feel very grand," said Ellen. " I don't know 
what is the matter with these clothes ; I cannot make 'em look 
smooth." 

'* Irons aint hot," said Nancy. 

" Yes they are, too hot. I've scorched a towel already." 

" My goodness, Ellen ! I guess you have. If Miss Fortune 
was down you'd get it. Why they're bone dry !" said 
Nancy, plunging her hand into the basket ; — you haven't 
sprinkled 'em, have you ?" 

*'To be sure," said Ellen, with an awakened face, " I for- 
got it !" 

" Here, get out of the way, 77/ do it for you," said Nancy, 
rolling up her sleeves and pushing Ellen from the table ; 
*' you just get me a bowl of water, will you, and we'll have 
'em done in no time. Who's a-coming to help you ?" 

" Nobody." 

" Nobody ! — you poor chicken ; do you think you're agoing 
to do all the work of the house yourself?" 

" No," said Ellen, " but I can do a good deal, and the rest 
will have to go." 

" You aint going to do no such a thing ; I'll stay myself." 

** No you can't, Nancy," said Ellen, quietly. 

" I guess I will if I've a mind to. I should like to know 
how you'd help it ; Miss Fortune's abed." 



76 



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** I could help it though," said Ellen ; " but I am sure you 
won't when I ask you not." 

" I'll do anything you please," said Nancy, " if you'll get 
Miss Fortune to let me stay. Come do, Ellen ! It will be 
splendid ; and I'll help you finely, and I won't bother you 
neither. Come ! go ask her ; if you don't I will." 

" I can't, Nancy ; she don't want anybody ; and it worries 
her to talk to her. I can't go and ask her." 

Nancy impatiently flung down the cloth she was sprinkling 
and ran up stairs. In a few minutes she came down with a 
triumphant face and bade Ellen go up to her aunt. 

" Ellen," said Miss Fortune, " if I let Nancy stay will you 
take care of the keys, and keep her out of the buttery ?" 

" I'll try to, ma'am, as well as I can, 
I'd as lief have her as anybody," said Miss Fortune, " if 
she'd behave ; — she was with me a httle in the winter ; she is 
smart and knows the ways ; — if I was sure she would behave 
herself, but I am afraid she will go rampanging about the 
house hke a wild cat." 

" I think I could prevent that," said Ellen, who to say 
truth was willing to have anybody come to share what she 
felt would be a very great burden. " She knows I could tell 
Mr. Van Brunt if she didn't do right, and she would be afraid 
of that." 

" Well," said Miss Fortune, disconsolately, " let her stay 
then. Oh dear, to lie here ! but tell her if she don't do just 
what you tell her, I'll have Mr. Van Brunt turn her out by the 
ears. And don't let her come near me, for she drives me 
mad. And, Ellen ! put the keys in your pocket. Have you 
got a pocket in that dress. 

** Yes, ma'am." 

*' Put 'em in there and dont take 'em out. Now go." 

Nancy agreed to the conditions with great glee ; and the lit- 
tle housekeeper felt her mind a good deal easier ; for thougli 
Nancy herself was somewhat of a charge, she was strong and 
willing and ready, and if she liked anybody liked Ellen. Mr. 
Van Brunt privately asked Ellen if she chose to have Nancy 
stay ; and told her, if she gave her any trouble, to let him 
know and he would make short work with her. The young 
lady herself also had a hint on the subject. 



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77 



" I'll tell you what," said Nancy, when this business was 
settled, — " we'll let the men go off to Miss Van Brunt's to 
meals ; we'll have enough to do without 'em. That's how 
Miss Fortune has fixed herself, — she would have Sam and 
Johnny in to board ; they never used to, you know, afore tliis 
winter. 

" The men may go," said Ellen, " but I had a great deal 
rather Mr. Van Brunt would stay than not, — if we can only 
manage to cook things for him ; we should have to do it at 
any rate for ourselves, and for grandma." 

" Well — / aint as fond of him as all that," said Nancy, — 
" but it'll have to be as you like I suppose. We'll feed him 
somehow." 

Mr. Van Brunt came in to ask if they had anything in the 
house for supper. Ellen told him " plenty," and would have 
him come in just as usual. There was nothing to do but to 
make tea ; cold meat and bread and butter and cheese were 
all in the buttery ; so tliat evening went off very quietly. 

When she came down the next morning the fire was burn- 
ing nicely, and the kettle on and singing. Not Nancy's work ; 
Mr. Van Brunt had slept in the kitchen, whether on the table, 
the floor, or the chairs, was best known to himself ; and be- 
fore going to his work had left everything he could think of 
ready done to her hand ; wood for the fire, pails of water 
brought from the spout, and some matters in the lower 
kitchen got out of the way. Ellen stood warming herself at 
the blaze, when it suddenly darted into her head that it was 
milking time. In another minute she had thrown open the 
door and was running across the chip-yard to the barn. 
There, in the old place, were all her old friends, both four- 
legged and two-legged ; and with great delight she found 
Dolly had a fine calf and Streaky another superb one, brindled 
just like herself. Ellen longed to get near enough to touch 
their little innocent heads, but it was impossible ; and recol- 
lecting the business on her hands she too danced away. 

" Whew !" said Nancy, when Ellen told her of the new in- 
mates of the barnyard ; — " there'll be work to do ! Get your 
milk-pans ready, Ellen ; — in a couple of weeks we'll be making- 
butter." 

" Aunt Fortune will be well by that time, I hope," said 
Ellen. 



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" She won't then, so you may just make up your mind to 
it. Dr. Gibson was to see lier yesterday forenoon, and he 
stopped at Miss Lowndes on his way back ; and he said it 
was a chance if she got up again in a month and more. So 
that's what it is, you see." 

" A month and more." It was all that. Miss Fortune 
was not dangerously ill ; but part of the time in a low ner- 
vous fever, part of the time encumbered with other ailments, 
she lay from week to week ; bearing her confinement as ill 
as possible, and making it as disagreeable and burdensome as 
possible for Ellen to attend upon her. Those were weeks of 
trial. Ellen's patience and principle and temper were all put 
to the proof. She had no love, in the first place, for house- 
hold work, and now her whole time was filled up with it. 
Studies could not be thought of. Reading was only to be 
had by mere snatches. Walks and rides were at an end. 
Often when already very tired she had to run up and down 
Btairs for her aunt, or stand and bathe her face and hands with 
vinegar, or read the paper to her when Miss Fortune declared 
she was so nervous she should fly out of her skin if she didn't 
hear something besides the wind. And very often when she 
was not wanted up stairs, her old grandmother would beg her 
to come and read to her, — perhaps at the very moment when 
Ellen v/as busiest. Ellen did her best. Miss Fortune never 
could be put off ; her old mother sometimes could, with a 
kiss and a promise ; but not always ; and then, rather than 
she should fret, Ellen would leave everything and give half 
an hour to soothing and satisfying her. She loved to do this 
at other times ; now it was sometimes burdensome. Nancy 
could not help her at all in these matters, for neither Miss 
Fortune nor the old lady would let her come near them. 
Besides all this there was a measure of care constantly upon 
Ellen's mind ; she felt charged with the welfare of all about 
the house ; and under the effort to meet the charge, joined to 
the unceasing bodily exertion, she grew thin and pale. She 
was tired with Nancy's talk ; she longed to be reading and 
studying again ; she longed, oh how she longed ! for Alice's 
and John's company again ; and it was no wonder if she some- 
times cast very sad longing looks further back still. Now and 
then an old fit of weeping would come. But Ellen remem- 
bered John's words ; and often in the midst of her work, 



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79 



stopping sliort with a sort of pang of sorrow and weariness, 
and the difficulty of doing right, she would press her hands 
together and say to herself, I will try to be a good pil- 
grim !" Her morning hour of prayer was very precious now; 
and her Bible grew more and more dear. Little Ellen found 
its words a mighty refreshment ; and often when reading it 
she loved to recall what Ahce had said at this and the other 
place, and John, and Mr. Marshman, and before them her 
mother. The passages about heaven, which she well remem- 
bered reading to her one particular morning, became great 
favorites ; they were joined with her mother in Ellen's 
thoughts ; and she used to go over and over them till she 
nearly knew them by heart. 

" What do you keep reading that for, the whole time ?'* 
said Nancy one day. 

" Because I like to," said Ellen. 

Well if you do, you're the first one ever I saw that did." 
*' Nancy !" said Ellen ; — "your grandma ?" 

Well she does I believe," said Nancy, — " for she's always 
at it ; but all the rest of the folks that ever I saw are happy 
to get it out of their hands, / know. They think they must 
2'ead a little and so they do, and they are too glad if some- 
thing happens to break 'em off. You needn't tell me ; I've 
seen 'em." 

I wish you loved it, Nancy," said Ellen. 
" Well what do you love it for ? come, let's hear ; maybe 
you'll convert me." 

" I love it for a great many reasons," said Ellen, who had 
some difficulty in speaking of what she felt Nancy could not 
understand. 

" Well — I aint any wiser yet." 

I like to read it because I want to go to heaven, and it 
tells me how." 

" But what's the use ?" said Nancy ; — " you aint going to 
die yet; you are too young; you've time enough." 

" Nancy ! — little John Dolan, and Eleanor Parsons, and 
Mary Huff, — all younger than you and I ; how can you say 
so?" 

" Well," said Nancy, — " at any rate, that aint reading 
it because you love it ; — it's because you must, hke other 
folks." 



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THE WIDE, V» ID£ WORLD. 



" That's only one of my reasons," said Ellen hesitating, and 
speaking gravely ; — " I like to read about the Saviour, and 
what he has done for me, and what a friend he will be to 
me, and how he forgives me. I had rather have the Bible, 
Nancy, than all the other books in the world." 

" That aint saying much," said Nancy ; — " but how come 
you to be so sure you are forgiven ?" 

" Because the Bible says, ' He that believeth on him shall 
not be ashamed,' and I believe in him ; — and that he will not 
cast out any one that comes to him, and I have come to him ; 
— and that he loves those that loves him, and I love him. If 
it did not speak so very plainly I should be afraid, but it 
makes me happy to read such verses as these. I wish you 
knew, Nancy, how happy it makes me." 

This profession of faith was not spoken without starting 
tears. Nancy made no reply. 

As Miss Fortune had foretold, plenty of people came to 
the house with proffers of service. Nancy's being there made 
it easy for Ellen to get rid of them all. Many were the mar- 
vels that Miss Fortune should trust her house to " two girls 
like that," and many the guesses that she would rue it when 
she got np again. People were wrong. Things went on 
very steadily and in an orderly manner ; and Nancy kept 
tb.e peace as she would have done in few houses. Bold and 
insolent as she sometimes was to others, she regarded Ellen 
with a mixed notion of respect and protection, which led her 
at once to shun doing anything that would grieve her, and 
to thrust her aside from every heavy or difficult job, taking 
the brunt herself. Nancy might well do this, for she was at 
least twice as strong as Ellen ; but she would not have done 
it for everybody. 

There were visits of kindness as well as visits of officiousness. 
Alice and Mrs. Van Brunt and Margery, one or the other 
every day. Margery would come in and mix up a batch of 
bread ; Alice would bring a bowl of butter, or a basket of 
cake ; and Mrs. Van Brunt sent whole dinners. Mr. Van 
Brunt was there always at night, and about the place as 
much as possible during the day ; when obliged to be absent, 
he stationed Sam Barkens to guard the house, also to bring 
wood and water and do whatever he was bid. All the help 
however that Avas given from abroad could not make Ellen's 



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81 



life an easy one ; Mr. Van Brunt's wishes that Miss Fortune 
would get up again began to come very often. The history 
of one day may serve for the history of all those weeks. 

It was in the beginning of April. Ellen came down stairs 
early, but come when she would she found the fire made and the 
kettle on. Ellen felt a httle as if she had not quite slept off the 
remembrance of yesterday's fatigue ; however, that was no 
matter ; she set to work. She swept up the kitchen, got her 
milk strainer and pans ready upon the buttery shelf, and 
began to set the table. By the time this was half done, in 
came Sam Larkens with two great pails of milk, and Johnny 
Low followed with another. They were much too heavy for 
Ellen to hft, but true to her charge she let no one come into 
the buttery but herself ; she brought the pans to the door, 
where Sam filled them for her, and as each was done she set 
it in its place on the shelf. This took some time for there were 
eight of them. She had scarce wiped up the spilt milk and 
finished setting the table when Mr. Van Brunt came in. 
Good morning !" said he. How d'ye do to-day?" 

" Very well, Mr. Van Brunt." 

*' I wish you'd look a little redder in the face. Don't you 
be too busy ? Where's Nancy ?" 

" she's busy, out with the clothes." 

" Same as ever up stairs ? — What are you going to do for 
breakfast, Ellen?" 

I don't know, Mr. Van Brunt ; there isn't anything cooked 
in the house ; w® have eaten everything up." 

" Cleaned out, eh ? Bread and all ?" 

" no, not bread ; there's plenty of that, but there's 
nothing else." 

" Well never mind ; — you bring me a ham and a dozen of 
eggs, and I'll make you a first-rate breakfast." 

Ellen laughed, for this was not the first time Mr. Van 
Brunt had acted as cook for the family. While she got what 
he had asked for, and bared a place on the table for his 
operations, he went to the spout and washed his hands. 

" Now a sharp knife, Ellen, and the frying pan, and a dish, 
— and that's all I want of you." 

Ellen brought them, and while he was busy with the banc 
she made the coffee and set it by the side of the fire to boil ; 
got the cream and butter, and set the bread on the table ; and 
4* 



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then set herself down to rest, and amuse herself with Mr. 
Van Brunt's cookery. He was no mean hand ; his slices of 
ham were very artist-like, and frying away in the most unex- 
ceptionable manner. Ellen watched him and laughed at him, 
till the ham was taken out and all the eggs bi oke in ; then 
after seeing that the coffee was right she went upstairs to dress 
her grandmother — always the last thing before breakfast. 

" Who's frying ham and eggs down stairs?" inquired Miss 
Fortune. 

" Mr. Van Brunt," said Ellen. 

This answer was unexpected. Miss Fortune tossed her 
head over in a dissatisfied kind of way, and told Ellen to 
"tell him to be careful." 

"Of what?" thought Ellen; and wisely concluded with 
herself not to deliver the message ; very certain she should 
laugh if she did, and she had running in her head an indis- 
tinct notion of the command, " Honor thy father and thy 
mother." 

Breakfast was ready but no one there when she got down 
stairs. She placed her grandmother at table, and called 
Nancy, who all this time had been getting the clothes out of 
the rinsing water and hanging them out on the line to dry ; 
said clothes having been washed the day before by Miss 
Sarah Lowndes, who came there for the purpose. Ellen 
poured out the coffee, and then in came Mr. Van Brunt with 
a head of early lettuce which he h;id pulled in the garden and 
washed at the spout. Ellen had to jump up again to get the 
salt and pepper and vinegar ; but she always jumped wilhngly 
for Mr. Van Brunt. 'J he meals were pleasanter during those 
weeks than in all the time Ellen had been in Thirl wall before ; 
or she thought so. That sharp eye at the head of the table 
was pleasantly missed, 'i hey with one accord sat longer at 
meals ; more talking and laughing went on ; nobody felt 
afraid of being snapped up. Mr. Van Brunt praised Ellen's 
cofiee, (he had taught her how to make it,) and she praised 
his ham and eggs. Old Mrs. Montgomery praised every- 
thing, and seemed to be in particular comfoit ; talked as 
much as she had a mind, and was respectfully attended to. 
Nancy was in high feather ; and the clatter of knives and 
forks and tea cups went on very pleasantly. But at last 
chairs were pushed from the table, and work began again. 



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83 



Nancy went back to lier tubs. Ellen supplied her grand- 
mother with her knittino- and filled her snufF-box ; cleared 
the table and put up the dishes ready for washing. Then 
she went into the buttery to skim the cream. This was a 
part of the work she liked. It was heavy lifting the pans of 
milk to the skimming shelf before the window, but as Ellen 
drew her spoon round the edge of the cream she liked to see 
it wrinkle up in thick yellow leathery folds, showing how 
deep and rich it was ; it looked half butter already. She 
knew how to take it off now very nicely. The cream was 
set by in a vessel for future churning, and the milk, as each 
pan was skimmed, was poured down the wooden trough at 
the left of the window through which it went into a great 
hogshead at the lower kitchen door. 

This done Ellen went up stairs to her aunt. Dr. Gibson 
always came early, and she and her room must be put in 
apple-pie order first. It was a long wearisome job. Ellen 
brought the basin for her to wash her face and hands ; then 
combed her hair and put on her clean cap. That was always 
the first thing. The next was to make the bed ; and for this, 
^.liss Fortune, Aveak or strong, wrapped herself up and tum- 
bled out upon the floor. When she was comfortably placed 
again, Ellen had to go through a laborious dusting of the room 
and all the things in it, even taking a dustpan and brush to 
the floor if any speck of dust or crumbs could be seen there. 
Every rung of every chair must be gone over, though never 
so clean ; every article put up or put out of the way ; Miss 
Fortune made the most of the little province of housekeeping 
that was left her ; and a fluttering tape escaping through the 
crack of the door would have put her whole spirit topsy- 
turvy. When all was to her mind, and not before, she would 
have her breakfast. Only gruel and biscuit, or toast and tea, 
or some such trifle, but Ellen must prepare it, and bring it up 
stairs, and wait till it was eaten. And very particularly it 
must be prepared, and very faultlessly it must be served, or 
with an impatient expression of disgust Miss Fortune would 
send it down again. On the whole Ellen always thought 
herself happy when this part of her day was well over. 

When she got down this morning she found the kitchen 
in ni^e order, and Nancy standing by the fire in a little sort 
of pause, having just done the breakfast dishes. 



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"Well !" said Nancy, — " what are you going to do now ?" 
" Put away these dishes, and then churn," said Ellen. 
** My goodness ! so you are. What's going to be for din- 
ner, Ellen ?" 

" That's more than I know," said Ellen laughing. " We 
have eaten up Mrs. Van Brunt's pie and waslied the dish ; — • 
there's nothing but some cold potatoes." 

" That Avon't do," said Nancy. " I tell you what, Ellen, 
— we'll just boil pot for to-day ; somebody else will send us 
something by to-morrow most likely." 

" I don't know what you mean by ' boil pot,' " said Ellen. 
you don't know everything yet, by half, /know — 
I'll fix it. You just give me the things, Miss Housekeeper, 
that's all you've got to do ; I want a piece of pork and a 
piece of beef, and all the vegetables you've got." 

" All ?" said Ellen. 
Every soul on 'em. Don't be scared, Ellen ; you shall 
see what I can do in the way of cookery ; if you don't like 
it you needn't eat it. What have you got in the cellar ?" 

" Come and see, and take what you want, Nancy ; there 
is plenty of potatoes and carrots and onions, and beets I be- 
lieve ; the turnips are all gone." 

Parsnips out in the yard, aint there ?" 

" Yes, but you'll have to do Avith a piece of pork, Nancy 
I don't know anything about beef." 

While Nancy went round the cellar gathering in her apron 
the various roots she wanted, Ellen uncovered the pork bar- 
rel, and after looking a minute at the dark pickle she never 
loved to plunge into, bravely bared her arm and fished up a 
piece of pork. 

"Now, Nancy, just help me with this churn out of the 
cellar, will you ? and then you may go." 

" My goodness ! it is heavy," said Nancy. You'll have 
a time of it, Ellen ; but I can't help you." 

She went off to the garden for parsnips, and Ellen quietly 
put in the dasher and the cover, and began to churn. It was 
tiresome work. The churn was pretty full, as Nancy had said ; 
the cream was rich and cold, and at the end of half an hour 
grew very stiff. It spattered and sputtered up on Ellen's face 
and hands and frock and apron, and over the floor ; legs and 
arms were both weary ; but still that pitiless dasher must go 



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85 



up and down, hard as it might be to force it either way ; she 
must not stop. In this state of matters she heard a pair of 
thick shoes come clumping down the stairs, and beheld Mr. 
Van Brunt. 

Here you are !" said he. " Churning ! — Been long at it V' 
" A good while," said Ellen, with a sigh. 
" Coming ?" 
" I don't know when." 

Mr. Van Brunt stepped to the door and shouted for Sam 
Larkens. He was ordered to take the churn and bring the 
butter ; and Ellen, very glad of a rest, went out to amuse 
herself with feeding the chickens, and then up stairs to see 
what Nancy was doing. 

" Butter come ?" said Nancy. 

" No, Sam has taken it. How are you getting on ? 0, I 
am tired !" 

I'm getting on first-rate ; I've got all the things in." 
" In what !" 

*' Why in the pot ! — in a pot of water, boiling away as fast 
as they can; we'll have dinner directly. Hurra! who comes 
there ?" 

She jumped to the door. It was Thomas, bringing Mar- 
gery's respects, and a custard pie, for Miss Ellen. 

" I declare," said Nancy, " it is a good thing to have friends, 
aint it ? I'll try and get some. — Hollo ! what's wanting ? — 
Mr. Van Brunt's calling you, Ellen,"' 

Ellen ran down. 
The butter's come," said he. " Now do you know what 
to do with it?" 

" yes," said Ellen smiling ; " Margery showed me nicely." 

He brought her a pail of water from the spout, and stood 
by with a pleased kind of look, while she carefully lifted the 
cover and rinsed down the little bits of butter whicli stuck to 
it and the dasher ; took out the butter with her ladle into a 
large wooden bowl, washed it, and finally salted it. 

" Don't take too much pains," said he ; — " the less of the 
hand it gets the better. That will do very well." 

" Now are you ready ?" said Nancy, coming down stairs, 
" 'cause dinner is. My goodness ! aint that a fine lot of but- 
ter ? there's four pounds, aint there ?" 



86 



** Five," said Mr. Van Brunt. 

*' And as sweet as it can be," said Ellen. " Beautiful, isn't 
it? Yes, I'm ready, as soon as 1 set this in the cellar and 
cover it up." 

Nancy's dish, — the pork, potatoes, carrots, beets, and 
cabbage, all boiled in the same pot together, — was found 
very much to everybody's taste except Ellen's. She made 
her dinner off potatoes and bread, the former of which she 
declared, laughing, were very porky and cabbagy ; her meal 
would have been an extremely light one if it had not been for 
the custard pie. 

After dinner new labors began. Xancy had forgotten to 
hang on a pot of water for the dishes ; so after putting away 
the eatables in the buttery, while the water was heating, 
Ellen warmed some gruel and carried it with a plate of bis- 
cuit up stairs to her aunt. But Miss Fortune, said she was 
tired of gruel and couldn't eat it ; she must have some milk 
porridge ; and she gave Ellen very particular directions how 
to make it. Ellen sighed only once as she went dov,'n with 
her despised dish of gruel, and set about doing her best to 
fulfill her aunt's wishes. The first dish of milk she burnt; — 
another sigh and another trial ; — better care this time had bet 
ter success, and Ellen had the satisfaction to see her aunt 
perfectly suited with her dinner. 

When she came down with the empty bowl Nancy had a 
pile of dishes ready washed, and Ellen took the towel to dry 
them. Mrs. Montgomery, who had been in an uncommonly 
quiet fit all day, now laid down her knitting and asked if 
Ellen would not come and read to her. 

" Presently, grandma, — as soon as 1 have done here. 

" I know somebody that's tired," said Nancy. " I tell 
you what Ellen, — you had better take to liking pork ; you can't 
work on potatoes. I aint tired a bit. There's somebody 
coming to the door again ! Do run and open it, will you ? 
my hands are wet. 1 wonder why folks can't come in with- 
out giving so much trouble." 

It was Thomas again, with a package for Ellen which had 
just come, he s:dd, and Miss Alice thought she would like to 
have it directly. Ellen thanked her, and thanked him, with 
a face from which all signs of weariness had fled away. The 



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87 



parcel was sealed up, and directed in a hand she was pretty 
sure she knew. Her fingers burned to break the seals ; but 
she would not open it there, neither leave her work unfin- 
ished ; she went on wiping the dishes with trembling hands 
and a beatinof heart. 

" What's that ?" said Nancy ; " what did Thomas Grimes 
want? what have you got there ?" 

" I don't know," said Ellen smifinor ; — " somethinof ofood, I 
pjuess." 

" Something good ? is it something to eat ?" 

" No," said Ellen, — " I didn't mean anything to eat when 
I said something good ; I don't think those are the best 
things." 

To Ellen's delight, she saw that her grandmother had for- 
gotten about the reading and was quietly taking short naps 
with her head against the chimney. So she put away the 
last dish, and then seized her package and flew up stairs. 
She was sure it had come from Doncaster ; she was right. It 
was a beautiful copy of the Pilgrim's Progess, — on the first leaf 
written, " To my little sister Ellen Montgomery, from J. H. ;" 
and within the cover la}" a letter. This letter Ellen read in 
the course of the next six da^^s at least twice as many times ; 
and never without crying over it. 

" Alice has told me " (said John,) " about your new trou- 
bles. There is said to be a time ' when tlie clouds return 
after the rain.' I am sorry, my Httle sister, this time should 
come to you so early. I often think of you, and wish I could 
be near you. Still, dear Kllie, the good Husbandman knows 
Vvhat his plants want ; do you believe that, and can you 
trust him ? They should have nothing but sunshine if that 
was good for them. He knows it is not ; so there come 
clouds and rains, and ' stormy wind fulfilling his will.' And 
what is it all for? — ' Herein is my Father glorified, that ye 
hear much fruit ;' do not disappoint his purpose, Ellie. We 
shall have sunshine enough by-and-by, — but I know it is 
hard for so young a one as my little sister to look much 
forwai d ; so do not look forward, Ellie ; look up ! look off 
unto Jesus, — from all your duties, troubles, and wants; he 
will lielp you in them all. The more you look up to him the 
more he will 1 lok down to you; and he especially said. 



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* Suffer little children to come unto me ;' you see you are 
particularly invited." 

Ellen was a long time up stairs, and when she came down 
it was with red eyes. 

Mrs. Montgomery was now awake and asked for the read- 
ing again ; and for three quarters of an hour Ellen and she 
were quietly busy with the Bible. Nancy meanwhile was 
down stairs washing the dairy things. When her grandmother 
released her Ellen had to go up to wait upon her aunt ; after 
which she went into the buttery, and skimmed the cream, and 
got the pans ready for the evening milk. By this time it was 
five o'clock, and Nancy came in with the basket of dry 
clothes ; at which Ellen looked with the sorrowful conscious- 
ness that they must be sprinkled and folded by-and-by, and 
ironed to-morrow. It happened however that Jane Huff 
came in just then with a quantity of hot short-cake for tea ; 
and seeing the basket she very kindly took the business of 
sprinkling and folding upon herself. This gave Ellen spirits 
to carry out a plan she had long had, to delight the whole 
family with some eggs scrambled in Margery's fashion ; 
after the milk was strained and put away she went about it, 
while Nancy set the table. A nice bed of coals was pre- 
pared ; the spider set over them ; the eggs broken in, pep- 
pered and salted ; and she began carefully to stir them as 
she had seen Margery do. But instead of acting right the 
eggs maliciously stuck fast to the spider and burned. Ellen 
was confounded. 

" How much butter did you put in ?" said Mr. Yan Brunt, 
who had come in, and stood looking on. 

" Butter !" said Ellen looking up, — " I forgot all about 
it ! — I ought to have put that in, oughtn't I ? — I'm sorry !" 

" Never mind," said Mr. Van Brunt, — 't aint worth your 
being sorry about. Here Nancy — clean us off this spider, 
and we'll try again." 

At this moment Miss Fortune was heard screaming ; Ellen 
ran up. 

What did she v>^ant?" said Mr. Van Brunt when she 
came down again. 

" She wanted to know what was burning." 
" Did you tell her ?" 



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89 



« Yes." 

"Well what did she say?" 

" Said I mustn't use any more eggs without asking her." 

" That aint fair play," said Mr. Van Brunt ; — " you and I 
are the head of the house now, I take it. You just use as 
many on 'em as you've a mind ; and all you spile I'll fetch 
you again from hum. 'i hat's you, Nancy ! Now Ellen, 
here's the spider ; try again ; let's have plenty of butter in 
this time, and plenty of eggs too." 

This time the eggs were scrambled to a nicety, and the 
supper met with great favor from all parties. 

Ellen's day was done when the dishes were. The whole 
family went early to bed. She was weary ; — but she could 
rest well. She had made her old grandmother comfortable ; 
she had kept the peace with Nancy ; she had pleased Mr. 
Van Brunt ; she had faithfully served her aunt. Her sleep 
was uncrossed b};- a dream, untroubled by a single jar of 
conscience. And her awaking to another day of labor, 
thougli by no means joyful, was yet not vmhopeful or un- 
happy. 

She had a hard trial a day or two after. It was in the 
end of the afternoon, she had her big apron on, and was in 
the buttery skimming the milk, when she heard the kitchen 
door open, and footsteps enter the kitchen. Out went 
little Ellen to see who it was, and there stood Alice and old 
Mr. Marshman! He was going to take Alice home with 
him' the next morning, and wanted Ellen to go too ; and they 
had come to ask her. Ellen knew it was impossible, that is, 
that it would not be right, and she said so ; and in spite of 
Alice's wistful look, and Mr. Marshman's insisting, she stood 
her ground. Not without some difficulty, and some glisten- 
ing of the eyes. They had to give it up. Mr. Marshman 
then wanted to know what she meant by swallowing hei'self 
up in an apron in that sort of a way ? so Ellen had him into 
the buttery and showed him what she had been about. He 
would see her skim several pans, and laughed at her pro- 
digiously ; though there was a queer look about his eyes, 
too, all the time. And when he went away, he held her iu 
his arms, and kissed her again and again ; and said that some 
of these days he would take her away from her aunt, and she 
should have her no more." Ellen stood and looked aftei 



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them till they were out of sight, and then went up staiis 
and had a good cry. 

Tlie butter-making soon became quite too much for Ellen to 
manage ; so Jane Huff and Jenny Hitchcock were engaged 
to come by turns and do the heavy part of it ; all within the 
buttery being still left to Ellen, for Miss Fortune would have 
no one else go there. It was a great help to have them 
take even so much off her hands ; and they often did some 
other little odd jobs for her. The milk however seemed to 
increase as fast as the days grew longer, and Ellen could not 
find that she was much less busy. The days were growing 
pleasant too ; soft airs began to come ; the grass was of a 
beautiful green ; the buds on the branches began to swell, and 
on some trees to put out. When Ellen had a moment of 
time she used to run across the chip-yard to the barn, or 
round the garden, or down to the brook, and drink in the 
sweet air and the lovely sights which never had seemed 
quite so lovely before. If once in a while she could get half 
an hour before tea, she used to take her book and sit down 
on the threshold of the front door, or on the big log under 
the apple-tree in the chip-yard. In those minutes the 
reading was doubly sweet ; or else the loveliness of earth 
and sky was such that Ellen could not take her eyes from 
them ; till she saw Sam or Johnny coming out of the cow- 
house door with the pails of milk, or heard their heavy 
tramp over the chips ; — then she had to jump and run. 
Those were sweet half hours. Ellen did not at first know 
how much reason she had to be delighted with her " Pil- 
grim's Progress ;" she saw to be sure that it was a fine copy, 
well bound, with beautiful cuts. But when she came to 
look further, she found all through the book, on the margin 
or at the bottom of the leaves, in John's beautiful hand- 
writing, a great many notes ; simple, short, plain, exactly 
what was needed to open the whole book to her and make 
it of the greatest possible use and pleasure. Many things 
she remembered hearing from his lips when they were read- 
ing it together ; there was a large part of the book where 
all was new; the part he had not had time to finish. How 
Ellen loved the book and the giver when she found these 
beautiful notes, it is impossible to tell. She counted it hei 
greatest treasure next to her Uttle red Bible. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 



* O what will T do wi' him. qao' he, 

What will I do wi' him ? 
What will I do wi' him, quo' he, 
What will I do wi' him?" 

Old Song. 

In the course of time Miss Fortune showed signs of mend- 
ing ; and, at last, towards the latter end of April, she was 
able to come down stairs. All parties hailed this event for 
different reasons ; even Nancy was grown tired of her regular 
life, and willing to have a change. Ellen's joy was, "however, 
soon diminished by the terrible rummaging which took place. 
Miss Fortune's hands were yet obliged to lie still, but her 
eyes did double duty ; they were never known to be idle in 
the best of times, and it seemed to Ellen now as if they were 
taking amends for all their weeks of forced rest. Oh, those 
eyes ! Dust was found Avhere Ellen never dreamed of look- 
ing for any ; things were said to be dreadfully " in the way" 
where she had never found it out ; disorder and dirt were 
groaned over, where Ellen did not know the fact or was 
utterly ignorant how to help it ; waste was suspected where 
none had been, and carelessness charged where rather praise 
was due. Impatient to have things to her mind, and as yet 
unable to do anything herself, Miss Fortune kept Nancy and 
Ellen running, till both wished her back in bed ; and even Mr. 
Van Brunt grumbled that " to pay Ellen for having grown 
white and poor, her aunt was going to work the little flesh 
she had left off her bones." It was rather hard to bear, just 
when she was looking for ease too ; her patience and temper 
were more tried than in all those weeks before. But if there 
was small pleasure in pleasing her aunt, Ellen did earnestly 
wish to please God ; she struggled against ill temper, prayed 
ftgainst it ; and though she often blamed herself in secret, she 



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did SO go through that week as to call forth Mr. Yan Brunt's 
admiration, and even to stir a little the conscience of her aunt. 
Mr. Van Brunt comforted her with the remark that " it is 
darkest just before day," and so it proved. Before the week 
was at an end Miss Fortune began, as she expressed it, to 
" take hold Jenny Hitchcock and Jane Huff were excused 
from any more butter-making ; Nancy was sent away ; Ellen's 
labors were much lijxhtened ; and the house was itself aofain. 

The third of May came. For the first time in near two 
months Ellen found in the afternoon she could be spared 
awhile ; there was no need to think twice what she would do 
with her leisure. Perhaps Margery could tell her something 
of Alice ! Hastily and joyfully she exchanged her working 
frock for a merino, put on nice shoes and stockings and ruffle 
again, and taking her bonnet and gloves to put on out of 
doors, away she ran. Who can tell how pleasant it seemed, 
after so many weeks, to be able to walk abroad again, and to 
walk to the mountain ! Ellen snuffed the sweet air, skipped 
on the greensward, picked nosegays of grass and dandelions, 
and at last unable to contain herself set off to run. Fatigue 
soon brought this to a stop ; then she walked more leisurely 
on, enjoying. It was a lovely spring day. Ellen's eyes were 
gladdened by it ; she felt thankful in her heart that God had 
made everything so beautiful ; she thought it was pleasant to 
think he had made them ; pleasant to see in them everywhere 
so much of the wisdom and power and goodness of him she 
looked to up with joy as her best friend. She felt quietly 
happy, and sure he would take care of her. Then a thought 
of Alice came into her head ; she set off to run again, and 
kept it up this time till she got to the old house and ran 
.round the corner. She stopped at the shed door and went 
through into the lower kitchen. 

Why Miss Ellen dear !" exclaimed Margery, — " if that 
isn't you ! Aren't you come in* the very nick of time ! How 
do you do ? I am very glad so see you — uncommon glad to 
be sure. W^hat witch told you to come here just now ? Run 
in, run into the parlor and see what you'll find there." 

Has Alice come back ?" cried Ellen, But Margery only 
laughed and said, " Run in !" 

Up the steps, through the kitchen, and across the hall, 
Ellen ran, — burst open the parlor door, — and was in Alice's 



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93 



arms. There were others in the room ; but Ellen did not 
seem to know it, dinging to her and holding her in a fast 
glad embrace, till Alice bade her look up and attend to some- 
body else. And then she was seized round the neck by little 
Ellen Chauncey ! — and then came her mother, and then Miss 
Sophia. The two children were overjoyed to see each other, 
while their joy was touching to see, from the shade of sorrow 
in the one, and of sympathy in the other. Ellen was scarcely 
less glad to see kind Mrs. Chauncey ; Miss Sophia's greeting 
too was very affectionate. But Ellen returned to Alice, and 
rested herself in her lap with one arm round her neck, the 
other hand being in little Ellen's grasp. 

" And now you are happy, I suppose ?" said Miss Sophia 
when they were thus placed. 
Very," said Ellen, smiling. 

Ah, but you'll be happier by-and-by," said Ellen 
Chauncey. 

"Hush Ellen !" said Miss Sophia; — "what curious things 
children are ! — You didn't expect to find us all here, did you, 
Ellen Montgomery ?" 

"No indeed ma'am," said Ellen, drawing Ahce's cheek 
nearer for another kiss. 

" We have but just comeEllie," said her sister. " I should 
not have been long in finding you out. My child, how thin 
you have got." 

" I'll grow fat again now," said Ellen. 

" How is Miss Fortune ?" 

" she is up again and well." 

" Have you any reason to expect your father home, Ellen ?" 
said Mrs. Chauncey. 

" Yes, ma'am ; — aunt Fortune says perhaps he will be here 
in a week." 

" Then you are very happy in looking forward, aren't you?" 
Baid Miss Sophia, not noticing the cloud that had come over 
Ellen's brow. 

Ellen hesitated, — colored, — colored more, — and finally with 
a sudden motion hid her face against Alice. 
" When did he sail, Ellie ?" said Ahce gravely. 
" In the Due d'Orleans — he said he would — 
" When r 



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" The fifth of April. — I can't help it !" exclaimed Ellen, 
failing in the effort to control herself; she clasped Alice as 
if she feared even then the separating hand. Alice bent her 
head down and whispered words of comfort. 

" Mamma !" said little Ellen Chauncey under her breath, 
and looking solemn to the last degree, — " don't Ellen want 
to see her father ?" 

" She's afraid that he may take her away where she will 
not be with Alice any more ; and you know she has no mother 
to go to." 

" Oh !" said Ellen with a very enlightened face ; — " but he 
won't, will he ?" 

*' I hope not; I think not." 

Cheered again, the little girl drew near and silently took 
one of Ellen's hands. 

"We shall not be parted, EUie," said Ahce, — "you need 
not fear. If your father takes you away from your aunt 
Fortune, I think it will be only to give you to me. You 
need not fear yet." 

" Mamma says so too, Ellen," said her little friend. 

This w^as strong consolation. Ellen looked up and smiled. 

" Now come Avith me," said Ellen Chauncey, pulling her 
hand, — *' I want you to show me something ; let's go down to 
the garden, — come ! exercise is good for you." 

" No, no," said her mother smihng, — " Ellen has had ex- 
ercise enough lately ; you mustn't take her down to the gar- 
den now ; you would find nothing there. Come here !" 

A long whisper followed, which seemed to satisfy little 
Ellen and she ran out of the room. Some time passed in 
pleasant talk and telhng all that had happened since they 
had seen each other ; then little Ellen came back and called 
Ellen Montgomery to the glass door, saying she wanted her 
to look at something. 

" It is only a horse we brought with us," said Miss Sophia. 
" Ellen thinks it is a great beauty, and can't rest till you have 
seen it." 

Ellen went accordingly to the door. There to be sure was 
Thomis before it holding a pony bridled and saddled. He 
was certainly a very pretty little creature ; brown all over 
except one white forefoot ; his coat shone it was so glossy ; 



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95 



his limbs were fine ; his eye gentle and bright ; his tail long 
enough to please the children. He stood as quiet as a lamb, 
whether Thomas held him or not. 

" what a beauty !" said Ellen ; — " what a lovely little 
horse !" 

" Aint he !" said Ellen Chauncey ; — " and he goes so beau- 
tifully besides, and never starts nor nothing ; and he is as 
good-natured as a little dog. 

^' As a good-natured little dog, she means, Ellen," said Miss 
Sophia , — " there are little dogs of very various character." 

" Well he looks good-natured," said Ellen. What a pret- 
ty head ! — and what a beautiful new side-saddle, and all. I 
never saw such a dear little horse in my life. Is it yours, 
Ahce ?" 

" No," said Alice, " it is a present to a friend of Mr. 
Marshman's." 

" She'll be a very happy friend, I should think," said Ellen. 
That's what I said," said Ellen Chauncey, dancing up 
and down, — " that's what I said. I said you'd be happier 
by-and-by, didn't I ?" 

" I ?" said Ellen coloring. 

" Yes, you, — you are the friend it is for ; it's for you, it's 
for you ! you are grandpa's friend, aren't you ?" she repeat- 
ed, springing upon Ellen, and hugging her up in an ecstasy 
of delight. 

" But it isn't really for me, is it ?" said Ellen, now looking 
almost pale ; — " Oh Alice ! — " 

" Come, come," said Miss Sophia, — " what will papa say 
if I tell him you received his present so ? — come, hold up 
your head ! Put on your bonnet and try him ; — come Ellen ! 
let's see you." 

Ellen did not know whether to cry or laugh, — till she 
mounted the pretty pony ; that settled the matter. Not 
Ellen Chauncey 's unspeakable delight was as great as her 
own. She rode slowly up and down before the house, and 
once a-going would not have known how to stop if she had 
not recollected that the pony had traveled thirty miles that 
day and must be tired. Ellen took not another turn after 
that. She jumped down, and begged Thomas to take the 
tenderest care of him ; patted his neck ; ran into the kitchen 
to beg of Margery a piece of bread to give him from her 



96 



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hand ; examined the new stirrup and housings, and the pony 
all over a dozen times ; and after watching him as Thomas 
led him off, till he was out of sight, finally came back into the 
house with a face of marvelous contentment. She tried to 
fashion some message of thanks for the kind giver of the 
pony ; but she wanted to express so much that no words would 
do. Mrs. Chauncey however smiled and assured her she 
knew exactly what to say, 

" That pony has been destined for you, Ellen," she said, 
** this year and more ; but my father waited to have him 
thoroughly well broken. You need, not be afraid of him ; he 
is perfectly gentle and well-trained ; if he had not been sure 
of that my father would never have sent him ; — though Mr. 
John is making such a horsewoman of you." 

" I wish I could thank him," said Ellen ; — " but I don't 
know how." 

" What will you call him, Ellen ?" said Miss Sophia. " My 
father has dubbed him ' George Marshman ;' — " he says you 
will like that, as my brother is such a favorite of yours." 

" He didn't really, did he ?" said Ellen, looking from So 
phia to Alice. " I needn't call him that, need I ?" 

Not unless you hke," said Miss Sophia laughing, — "you 
may change it ; but Avhat will you call him ?" 

I don't know," said Ellen verygravel}^ — "he must have 
a name to be sui e." 

" But why don't you call him that ?" said Ellen Chauncey ; 
— " George is a very pretty name ; — I like that ; [ should 
call him ' Uncle George.' 

"01 couldn't !" said Ellen, — " I couldn't call him so ; I 
shouldn't like it at all." 

" George Washington ?" said Mrs. Chauncey. 

" No indeed !" said Ellen. " I guess I wouldn't !" 

*'Why is it too good, or not good enough?" said Miss 
Sophia. 

" Too good ! A great deal too good for a horse ! I 
;vouldn't for anything." 

" How would Brandywine do then, since you are so pa- 
triotic ?" said Miss Sophia, looking amused. 

" What is * patriotic ?' " said Ellen. 

" A patriot, Ellen," said Alice smiling, — " is one who 
has a strong and true love for his country." 



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9Y 



I don't know whether I am patriotic," said Ellen, " but 
I won't call him Brandywine. Why Miss Sophia!" 

" No, I wouldn't either," said Ellen Chauncey ; — it isn't 
a pretty name. Call him Seraphine ! — like Miss Angell's 
pony — that's pretty." 

" No no, — ' Seraphine !' nonsense !" said Miss Sophia ; — 
** call him Benedict Arnold, Ellen ; and then it will be a relief 
to your mind to whip him." 

" Whip him !" said Ellen, — " I don't want to whip him, I 
am sure ; and I should be afraid to besides." 

" Hasn't John taught you that lesson yet ?" said the young 
lady ; — " he is perfect in it himself. Do you remember, Alice, 
the chastising he gave that fine black horse of ours we 
called the ' Black Prince ?' — a beautiful creature he was, — 
more than a year ago ? — My conscience ! he frightened me 
to death." 

I remember," said Alice ; " I remember I could not 
look on." 

What did he do that for ?" said Ellen. 

" What's the matter Ellen Montgomery ?" said Miss 
Sophia, laughing, — where did you get that long face ? Are 
you thinking of John or the horse ?" 

Ellen's eye turned to Ahce. 

" My dear Ellen," said Alice smiling, though she spoke 
seriously, — it was necessary ; it sometimes is necessary to do 
such things. You do not suppose John would do it cruelly 
or unnecessarily?" 

Ellen's face shortened considerably. 

" But what had the horse been doing ?" 

" He had not been doing anything ; he would not do, — that 
was the trouble ; he was as obstinate as a mule." 

"My dear Ellen," said Alice, *'it was no such terrible 
matter as Sophia's words have made you beheve. It was a 
clear case of obstinacy. The horse was resolved to have his 
own way and not do what his rider required of him ; it was 
necessary that either the horse or the man should give up ; 
and as John has no fancy for giving up, he carried his point, 
— partly by management, partly, 1 confess, by a judicious 
use of the whip and spm' ; but there was no such furious 
flagellation as Sophia seems to mean, and which a good 
horseman would scarce be guilty of." 
VOL. II. 5 



08 



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*' A very determined ' use,' " said Miss Sophia. " I advise 
you, Ellen, not to trust your pony with Mr. John ; he will 
have no mercy on him." 

** Sophia is laughing, Ellen," said Alice. " You and I 
know John, do we not ?" 

Then he did right ?" said Ellen. 

Perfectly right — except in mounting the horse at all, 
which I never wished him to do. No one on the place would 
ride him." 

" He carried John beautifully all the day after that though," 
said Miss Sophia, " and I dare say he might have ridden him 
to the end of the chapter if you would have let papa give 
him to him. But he w^as of no use to anybody else. Howard 
couldn't manage him — I suppose he was too lazy. Papa was 
delighted enough that day to have given John anything. And 
I can tell you lilack Prince the second is spirited enough ; I 
am afraid you Avont like him." 

** John has a present of a horse too, Ellen," said Alice. 

"Has he? — from Mr. Marshman ?" 

- Yes." 

*' I'm very glad ! what rides Ave can take now, can't 
we, Alice ? We shan't want to borrow Jenny's pony any 
more. What kind of a horse is Mr. John's ?" 

" Black,— perfectly black." 

" Is he handsome ?" 

" Very." 

" Is his name Black Prince ?" 
« Yes." 

Ellen began to consider the possibility of calling her pony 
the Brown Princess, or by some similar title — the name of 
John's two chargers seeming the very most striking a horse 
could be known by. 

Don't forget, Alice," said Mrs. Chauncey, to tell John 
to stop for him on his way home. It Avill give us a chance 
of seeing him, Avhich is not a common pleasure, in any sense 
of the term." 

They Avent back to the subject of the name, Avhich Ellen 
pondered with uneasy visions of John and her poor pony 
flitting through her head. The little horse w^as very hard to 
fit, or else Ellen's taste was very hard to suit ; a great many 
names were proposed, none of which were to her mind. 



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99 



Charley, and Cherry, and Brow, and Dash, and Jumper, — • 
but she said they had " John" and " Jenny" already in Thirl- 
wall, and she didn't want a " Charley ;" " Brown" was not 
pretty, and she hoped he wouldn't " dash" at anything, nor 
be a "jumper" when she was on his back. Cherry she 
mused awhile about, but it wouldn't do. 

" Call him Fairy," said Ellen Chauncey ; — " that's a pretty 
name. Mamma says she used to have a horse called Fairy. 
Do, Ellen ! call him Fairy." 

" No," said Ellen ; " he can't have a lady's name — that's 
the trouble." 

" I have it, Ellen !" said Alice ; — " I have a name for you, 
— call him the Brownie." 

" The ' Brownie ?' " said Ellen. 

" Yes — brownies are male fairies ; and brown is his color ; 
so how will that do ?" 

It was soon decided that it would do very well. It was 
simple, descriptive, and not common ;. Ellen made up her 
mind that ' The Brownie' should be his name. No sooner 
given, it began to grow dear. Ellen's face quitted its look of 
anxious gravity and came out into the broadest and fullest 
satisfaction. She never showed joy boisterously ; but there 
was a light in her eye which brought many a smile into those 
of her friends as they sat round the tea-table. 

After tea it was necessary to go home, much to the sorrow 
of all parties. Ellen knew however it would not do to stay ; 
Miss Fortune was but just got well, and perhaps already 
thinking herself ill-used. She put on her things. 

" Are you going to take your pony home with you?" said 
Miss Sophia. 

" no ma'am, not to-night. I must see about a place for 
liim ; and besides, poor fellow, he is tired I dare say." 

" I do believe you would take more care of his legs than of 
your own," said Miss Sophia. 

" But you'll be here to-morrow early, Ellie ?" 

*' won't I !" exclaimed Ellen, as she sprang to Alice's 
neck ; — '* as early as I can, at least ; I don't know when aunt 
Fortune will have done with me." 

The way home seemed as nothing. Tf she was tired she 
did not know it. The Brownie ! the Brownie ! — the thought 
of him carried her as cleverly over the ground as his very 



100 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



back would liave done. She came running into the chip- 
yard. 

Hollo !" cried Mr. Van Brunt, who was standing under 
the apple tree cutting a piece of wood for the tongue of the 
ox-cart, which had been broken, — I'm glad to see you can 
run. I was afeard you'd hardly be able to stand by this time ; 
but there you come like a young deer !" 

" Mr. Van Brunt," said Ellen, coming close up to him 
and speaking in an under tone, — " you don't know what a 
present I have had ! What do you think Mr. Marshman has 
sent me from Ventnor?" 

*' Couldn't guess," said Mr. Van Brunt, resting the end of 
his pole on the log and chipping at it with his hatchet ; — 
" never guessed anything in my life ; — what is it ?" 

" He has sent me the most beautiful little horse you ever 
saw ! — for my own — for me to ride ; and a new beautiful 
saddle and bridle ; you never saw anything so beautiful, Mr. 
Van Brunt ; he is all brown, with one white fore-foot, and 
I've named him the 'Brownie;' and O Mr. Van Brunt! do 
you think aunt Fortune will let him come here ?" 

Mr. Van Brunt chipped away at his pole, looking very 
good-humored. 

" Because you know I couldn't have half the good of him 
if he had to stay away from me up on the mountain. I shall 
want to ride him every day. Do you think aunt Fortune 
will let him be kept here, Mr. Van Brunt?" 

" I guess she will," said Mr. Van Brunt soberly, and his 
tone said to Ellen, " / will, if she don't." 

" Then will you ask her and see about it ? — if you please 
Mr. Van Brunt ! I'd rather you would. And you won't 
have him put to plough or anything, will you Mr. Van Brunt ? 
Miss Sophia says it would spoil him." 

** I'll plough myself first," said Mr. Van Brunt with his 
half smile ; — " there sha'n't be a hair of his coat turned the 
wrong way. I'll see to him — as if he was a prince." 

" thank you, dear Mr. Van Brunt ! How good you are. 
Then I shall not speak about him at all till you do, remember. 
I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Van Brunt !" 

Ellen ran in. She got a chiding for her long stay, but it 
fell upon ears that could not hear. The Brownie came like 
a shield between her and all trouble. She smiled at her 



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101 



aunt's hard words as if they had been sugar-plums. And her 
sleep that night might have been prairie land, for the multi- 
tude of horses of all sorts that chased through it. 

Have you heerd the news?" said Mr. Van Brunt, when 
he had got his second cup of coftee at breakfast next morning. 

" No," said Miss Fortune. " What news ?" 

" There aint as much news as there used to be when I was 
young," said the old lady ; — " 'seems to me I don't hear 
nothing now-a-days." 

"You might, if you'd keep your ears open, mother. 
What news, Mr. Van Brunt ?" 

" Why here's Pollen's got a splendid little horse sent her a 
present from some of her great friends, — Mr. Marshchalk, — " 

" Mr, Marshman," said Ellen. 

" Mr. Marshman. There aint the like in the country, as 
I've heerd tell ; and I expect next thing she'll be flying over 
all the fields and fences like smoke." 

There was a meaning silence. Ellen's heart beat. 

" What's going to be done with him, do you suppose ?" 
said Miss Fortune. Her look said, " If you think I am 
coming round you are mistaken." 

" Humph !" said Mr. Van Brunt slowly, — " I s'pose he'll 
eat grass in the meadow, — and there'll be a place fixed for 
him in the stables." 

" Not in 1711/ stables," said the lady s]lortl3^ 

" No, — in mine," said Mr. Van Brunt half smiling ; — " and 
I'll settle with you about it by and by, — when we square our 
accounts." 

Miss Fortune was very much vexed ; Ellen could see that ; 
but she said no more, good or bad, about the matter ; so the 
Brownie was allowed to take quiet possession of meadow and 
stables ; to his mistress's unbounded joy. 

Anybody that knew Mr. Van Brunt would have been sur- 
prised to hear what he said that morning ; for he was 
thought to be quite as keen a looker after the main chance as 
Miss Fortune herself, only somehow it was never laid against 
him as it was against her. However that might be, it was 
plain he took pleasure in keeping his word about the pony. 
Ellen herself could not have asked more careful kindness for 
her favorite than the Brownie had from every man and boy 
about the farm. 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 



" Thon must run to him for thou hast stayed so long that going will scarce »rve tht 
turn." — Shakspeark. 

Captain Montgomery did not come the next week, nor the 
week after ; and what is more, the Duck Dorleens, as his sister 
called the ship in which he had taken passage, was never 
heard of from that time. She sailed duly on the fifth of April, 
as they learnt from the papers ; but whatever became of her 
she never reached port. It remained a doubt whether Cap- 
tain Montgomery had actually gone in her ; and Ellen had 
many weeks of anxious watching, first for himself, and then 
for news of him in case he were still in France. None ever 
came. Anxiety gradually faded into certainty ; and by mid- 
summer no doubt of the truth remained in any mind. If 
Captain Montgomery had been alive, he would certainly have 
written, if not before, on learning the fate of the vessel in 
which he had told his friends to expect him home. 

Ellen rather felt that she was an orphan than that she had 
lost her father. She had never learned to love him, he had 
never given her much cause. Comparatively a small portion 
of her life had been passed in his society, and slie looked back to 
it as the least agreeable of all ; and it had not been possible for 
her to expect with pleasure his return to America and visit to 
Thirl wall ; she dreaded it. Life had nothing now worse for her 
than a separation from Alice and John Humphreys ; she fear- 
ed her father might take her away and put her in some 
dreadful boarding-school, or carry her about the world where- 
ever he went, a wretched wanderer from everything good and 
pleasant. The knowledge of his death had less pain for her 
than the removal of this fear brought relief. 

Ellen felt sometimes, soberly and sadly, that she was thrown 
upon the wide world now. To all intents and purposes so 
she had been a year and three quarters before ; but it was 



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103 



something to Lave a father and mother Hving even on the 
other side of the world. Now, Miss Fortune was her sole 
guardian and owner. However slie could hardly realize that, 
with Alice and John so near at hand. Without reasoning 
much about it, she felt tolerably secure that they w^ould take 
care of her interests, and make good their claim to interfere 
if ever need were. 

Ellen and her little horse grew more and more fond of each 
other. This friendship, no doubt, was a comfort to the 
Brownie ; but to his misti-ess it made a large part of the plea- 
sure of her every day Hfe. To visit him was her delight, at all 
hours, early and late ; and it is to the Brownie's credit that 
he always seemed as glad to see her as she was to see him. 
At any time Ellen's . voice would bring him from the far end 
of the meadow where he was allowed to run. He w^ould come 
trotting up at her call, and stand to ha\ e her scratch his fore- 
head or pat him and talk to him ; and though the Brownie 
could not answer her speeches he certainly seemed to hear them 
with pleasure. Then throwing up his head he would bound 
off, take a turn in the field, and come back again to stand as 
still as a lamb so long as she stayed there herself. Now and 
then, when she had a little more time, she would cross the fence 
and take a walk with him ; and there, with his nose just at 
her elbow, wherever she went the Brownie went after her. 
After a while there was no need that she should call him ; if 
he saw or heard her at a distance it was enough ; he would 
come running up directly. Ellen loved him dearly. 

She gave him more proof of it than words and caresses. 
Many were the apples and scraps of bread hoarded up for 
him ; and if these failed, Ellen sometimes took him a little salt 
to show that he was not forgotten. There were not certainly 
many scraps left at Miss Fortune's table ; nor apples to be 
had at home for such a purpose, except what she gathered up 
from the poor ones that were left under the trees for the 
hogs ; but Ellen had other sources of supply. Once she had 
begged from Jenny Hitchcock a w^aste bit that she was going 
to throw away ; Jenny found what she wanted to do with it, 
and after that many a basket of apples and many a piece of cold 
shortcake was set by for her. Margery too remembered the 
Brownie when disposing of her odds and ends ; likewise did 
Mrs. Van Brunt ; so that among them all Fllen seldom want- 



104 



THE WIDE, Vv IDE WORLD. 



ed something to give him. Mr. Marshman did not know what 
happiness he was bestowing ^\hen he sent her that httle horse. 
Many, many, were the hours of enjoyment she had upon his 
back. Ellen went nowhere but upon the Brownie. Alice 
made her a riding-dress of dark gingham ; and it was the ad- 
miration of the country to see her trotting or cantering by, 
all alone, and always looking happy. Ellen soon found that if 
the Brownie was to do her much good she must leain to 
saddle and bridle him herself. This was very awkward at 
first, but there was no help for it. Mr. Van Brunt showed 
her how to manage, and after a while it became quite easy. 
She used to call the Brownie to the bar-place, put the bridle 
on, and let him out ; and then he would stand motionless be- 
fore her Avhile she fastened the saddle on ; looking round 
sometimes as if to make sure that it was she herself, and giv- 
ing a little kind of satisfied neigh when he saw that it Avas. 
Ellen's heart began to dance as soon as she felt him moving 
under her ; and once off and away on the docile and spirited 
little animal, over the roads, through the lanes, up and down 
the hills, her horse her only companion, but having the most 
perfect understanding with him, both Ellen and the Brownie 
cast care to the winds. " I do believe," said Mr. Van Brunt, 
*' that critter would a leetle rather have Ellen on his back than 
not." He was the Brownie's next best friend. Miss Fortune 
never said anything to him or of him. 

Ellen however reaped a reward for her faithful steadiness 
to duty Avhile her aunt was ill. Things were never after that 
as they had been before. She was looked on with a different 
eye. To be sure Miss Fortune tasked her as much as ever, 
spoke as sharply, was as ready to scold if anything went 
wrong ; — all that was just as it used to be ; but beneath all 
that Ellen felt with great satisfaction that she was trusted and 
believed. She was no longer an interloper, in everybody's 
way ; she was not watched and suspected ; her aunt treated 
her as one of the family and a person to be depended on. It 
was a very great comfort to little Ellen's life. Miss Fortune 
even owned that " she believed she was an honest child and 
meant to do riglit," — a great deal from her; Miss Fortune 
was never over forward to give any one the praise of honeaty. 
Ellen now went out and came in without feeling she was an 
aUen. And though her aunt was always bent on keeping 



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105 



herself and everybody else at work, she did not now show 
any particular desire for breaking off Ellen from her studies ; 
and was generally willing Avhen the work was pretty well 
done UD that she should saddle the Brownie and be off to 
Ahce or Mrs. Vawse. 

Though Ellen was happy, it was a sober kind of happiness ; 
— the sun shining behind a cloud. And if others thought her 
so, it was not because she laughed loudly or wore a merry 
face. 

" I can't help but think," said Mrs. Van Brunt, "that that 
child has something miore to make her happy than what she 
gets in this world." 

There was a quilting party gathered that afternoon at Mrs. 
Van Brunt's house. 

" There is no doubt of that, neighbor," said Mrs. Vawse ; 
"nobod}^ ever found enough here to make him happy yet." 

" Well T don't want to see a prettier girl than that," said 
Mrs. Lowndes ; — " you'll never catch her, working at home 
or riding along on that handsome httle critter of her'n, that 
she ha'n't a pleasant look and a smile for you, and as pretty 
behaved as can be. I never see her look sorrowful but 
once." 

" Aint that a pretty horse ?" said Mimy Lawson. 

" Fve see her look sorrowful though," said Sarah Lowndes ; 
" I've been up at the house when Miss Fortune was hustling 
everybody round, and as sharp as vinegar, and you'd think it 
would take Job's patience to stand it ; — and for all there 
wouldn't be a bit of crossness in that child's face, — she'd go 
round, and not say a word that wasn't just so ; — you'd ha' 
thought her bread was all spread w^ith honey ; and everybody 
knows it aint. I don't see how she could do it, for my part. 
I know / couldn't." 

" Ah, neighbor," said Mrs. Vawse, " Ellen looks higher than 
to please her aunt ; she tries to please her God ; and one can 
bear people's words or looks when one is pleasing him. — She 
is a dear child ! 

" And there's 'Brahm," said Mrs. Van Brunt, — " he thinks 
the hull w^orld of her. I never see him take so to any one. 
There aint an airthly thing he wouldn't do to please her. If 
she was his own child I've no idee he could set her up more 
tlian he does." 

5* 



106 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



" Very well !" said Xancy coming up, — good reason ! 
Ellen don't set him up any, does she ? I wish you'd just 
seen her once, the time when Miss Fortune was abed, — the 
way she'd look out for him! Mr. Van Brunt's as good as at 
home in that house sure enough ; whoever's down stairs." 
Bless her dear little heart !" said his mother. 

" A good name is better than precious ointment." 

August had come, and John was daily expected home. 
One morning Miss Fortune was in the lower kitchen, up to 
the elbows in making a rich fall cheese ; Ellen was busy 
up-stairs, when her aunt shouted to her tt "come and see 
what was all that splashing and crashing in the garden." 
^ Ellen ran out. 

" aunt Fortune," said she, — "Timothy has broken down 
the fence and got in." 

" Timothy !" said Miss Fortune, — " what Timothy ?" 

" Why Timothy, the near ox," said Ellen laughing; — "he 
has knocked down the fence over there where it was low, 
you know." 

" The near ox !" said Miss Fortune, — " I wish he warn't quite 
so near this time. Mercy ! he'll be at the corn and over 
everything. Run and drive him into the barn-yard, can't 
you?" 

But Ellen stood still and shook her head. " He wouldn't 
stir for me," she said; — "and besides I am as afraid of that 
ox as can be. If it was Clover I wouldn't mind." 

" But he'll have every bit of the corn eaten up in five 
minutes ! Where's Mr. Van Brunt ?" 

" I heard him say he was going home till noon," said 
Ellen. 

"And Sam Larkens is gone to mill — and Johnny Low is 
laid up with the shakes. Very careless of Mr. Van Brunt !" 
said Miss Fortune, drawing her arms out of the cheese-tub 
wringing off the whey, — " i wish he'd mind his own oxen. 
There was no business to be a low place in the fence ! Well 
come along ! you aint afraid with me, I suppose." 

Ellen followed, at a respectful distance. Miss Fortune 
however feared the face of neither man nor beast ; she pulled 
up a bean pole, and made such a show of fight that Timothy 
after looking at her a little, fairly turned tail, and marched out 
at the breach he had made- Miss Fortune went after, and 



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107 



rested not till she had driven him quite into the meadow ; — 
get him into the barn-yard she could not. 

You aint worth a straw, Ellen !" said she when she came 
back ; — " couldn't you ha' headed him and driv' him into the 
barn-yard ? Now that plaguy beast will just be back again by 
the time I get well to work. He ha'n't done much mischief 
3'et — there's Mr, Van Brunt's salary he's^made a pretty mess 
of ; Pm glad on't ! He should ha' put potatoes, as I told him. 
I don't know what's to be done — I can't be leaving my cheese 
to run and mind the garden every minute, if it Avas full of 
Timothys ; and youd be scared if a mosqueto flew at you ; — 
you had better go right off for Mr. Van Brunt and fetch him 
straiofht home — serve him rioht ! he has no business to leave 
things so. Run along, — and don't let the grass grow under 
your feet ! 

Ellen wisely thought her pony's feet would do the business 
quicker, Slie ran and put on her gingham dress and saddled 
and bridled the Brownie in three minutes ; but before setting 
off she had to scream to her aunt that Timothy was just 
coming round the corner of the barn again ; and Miss For- 
tune rushed out to the garden as Ellen and the Brownie 
walked down to the gate. 

The weather was fine, and Ellen thought with herself it 
was an ill wind that blew no good. She was getting a nice 
ride in the early morning, that she would not have had but 
for Timothy's lawless behavior. 'Jo ride at that time was par- 
ticularly pleasant and rare ; and forgetting how she had left 
poor Miss Fortune between the ox and the cheesetub, Ellen 
and the Brownie cantered on in excellent spirits. 

She looked in vain as she passed his grounds to see Mr. 
Van Brunt in the garden or about the barn. She went on 
to the little gate of the courtyard, dismounted, and led the 
Brownie in. Here she was met by Nancy who came running 
from the way of the barn-yard. 

"How d'ye do Nancy?" said Ellen; — where's Mr. Van 
Brunt?" 

*' Goodness ! Ellen ! — what do you want?" 
" I want Mr. Van Brunt, — where is he ?" 
" Mr. Van Brunt ! — he's out in the barn, — but he's used 
himself up." 

" Used himself up ! vrhat do you mean ?'' 



108 



Tlir: WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



" Why he's fixed liimself in fine style ; — he's fell through 
the trap-door and broke his leg." 

" Nancy !" screamed Ellen, — " he hasn't ! How could 
he ?" 

" Why easy enough if he didn't look where he was going, 
— there's so much hay on the floor. But it's a pretty bad 
place to fall." 

" How do you known his leg is broken ?" 

" 'Cause he says so, and anybody with eyes can see it 
must be. I'm going over to Hitchcock's to get somebody to 
come and help in with him ; for you know me and Mrs. Van 
Brunt aint Samsons." 

" Where is Mrs. Van Brunt ?" 

" She's out there — in a terrible to do." 

Nancy sped on to the Hitchcock's ; and greatly frightened 
and distressed Ellen ran over to the barn, trembling like an 
aspen. Mr. Van Brunt was lying in the lower floor, just 
where he had fallen ; one leg doubled under him in such a 
way as left no doubt it must be broken. He had lain there 
some time before any one found him ; and on trying to 
change his position when he saw his mother's distress, he had 
fainted from pain. She sat by weeping most bitterly. Ellen 
could bear but one look at Mr. Van Brunt ; that one sickened 
her. She went up to his poor mother and getting down on 
her knees by her side put botli arms round her neck. 

" Dont cry so, dear Mrs. Van Brunt," (Ellen was crying 
so she could hardly speak herself,) — pray don't do so ! — 
he'll be better — Oh what shall we do ?" 

Oh aint it dreadful !" said poor Mrs. Van Brunt ; — " 
'Brahm, 'Brahm ! my son ! — the best son that ever Avas to 
me — O to see him there — aint it dreadful? he's dying!" 

" no he isn't," said Ellen, — " no he isn't ! — what shall 
we do, Mrs. Van Brunt ?— what shall we do ?" 

" The doctor !" said Mrs. Van Brunt, — " he said ' send for 
the doctor ;' — but I can't go, and there's nobody to send. 
O he'll die ! — my dear 'Brahm ! I wish it was me !" 

" What doctor ?" said Ellen ; — " I'll find somebody to go ; 
what doctor ?" 

" Dr. Gibson, he said ; but he's away off" to Thirlwall ; and 
he's been lying here all the moraing already I — nobody found 
him — h« couldn't make us hear. isn't it dreadful !" 



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109 



** don't cry so, dear Mrs. Van Brunt," said Ellen, press- 
ing her cheek to the poor old lady's ; — " he'll be better — he 
will ! I've got the Brownie here and I'll ride over to Mrs. 
Hitchcock's and get somebody to go right away for the doc- 
tor. I won't be long, — we'll have him here in a little while ! 
dorit feel so bad !" 

" You're a dear blessed darling !" said the old lady, hug- 
ging and kissing her, — " if ever there was one. Make haste 
dear, if you love him ! — he loves you." 

Ellen stayed but to give her another kiss. Trembling so that 
she could hardly stand she made her way back to the house, 
led out the Brownie again, and set off full speed for Mrs. 
Hitchcock's. It was well her pony was sure-footed, for 
letting the reins hang, Ellen bent over his neck crying bitterly, 
only urging him now and then to greater speed ; till at length 
the feeling that she had something to do came to her help. 
She straightened herself, gathered up her reins, and by the 
time she reached Mrs. Hitchcock's was looking calm again, 
though very sad and very earnest. She did not alight, but 
stopped before the door and called Jenny. Jenny came out 
expressing her pleasure. 

*' Dear Jenny," said Ellen, — " isn't there somebody here 
that will go right off to Thirlwaii for Dr. Gibson ? Mr. Van 
Brunt has broken his leg, I am afraid, and wants the doctor 
directly." 

" Why dear Ellen," said Jenny, " the men have just gone 
off this minute to Mrs. Van Brunt's. Nancy was here for 
them to come and help move him in a great hurry. How 
did it happen ? I couldn't get anything out of Nancy." 

" He fell down through the trap-door. But dear Jenny, 
isn't there anybody about ? 0," said Ellen clasping her 
hands, — " I want somebody to go for the doctor so much !" 

There aint a living soul !" said Jenny ; " two of the men 
and all the teams are 'way on the other side of the hill 
ploughing, and Pa and June and Black Bill have gone over, 
as I told you ; but I don't beheve they'll be enough. 
Where's his leg broke ?" 

" I didn't meet them," said Ellen ; — " I came away only a 
little while after Nancy." 

" They went 'cross lots I guess, — that's how it was ; and 
that's the way Nancy got the start of you." 



no 



THK WIDE, WIDE WORLD, 



" What, sliall I do ?" said Ellen. She could not bear to 
wait till they returned ; if she rode back she might miss them 
again, besides the delay ; and then a man on foot would 
make a long journey of it. Jenny told her of a house or two 
wiiere she might try for a messenger ; but they were stran- 
gers to her ; she could not make up her mind to ask such a 
favor of them. Her friends were too far ovit of the way. 

"I'll go myself!" she said suddenly. "'Jell 'em, dear 
Jenny, will you, that I have gone for Dr. Gibson and 
that I'll bring him back as quick as ever I can. I know the 
road to Thirl wall." 

" But Ellen ! you mustn't,'' said Jenny ; — " I am- afraid to 
have you go all that way alone. Wait till the men come 
back, — they won't be long." 

" No I can't, Jenny," said Ellen, — " I can't wait ; I must 
go. You needn't be afraid. Tell 'em I'll be as quick as I 
can." 

" But see, Ellen !" cried Jenny as she was moving off, — - 
" I don't like to have you !" 
" I must Jenny. Never mind." 

" But see, Ellen !" cried Jenny again, — " if you will go — 
if you don't find Dr. Gibson just get Dr. Marshchalk, — he's 
every bit as good and some folks think he's better ; — he'll do 
just as well. Good-bye !" 

Ellen nodded and rode off. There was a little fluttering of 
the heart at taking so much upon herself ; she had never 
been to Thirlwall but once since the first time she saw it. 
But she thought of Mr. Van Brunt, suffering for help which 
could not be obtained, and it was impossible for her to hesi- 
tate. " I am sure I am doing right," she thought, — " and 
what is there to be afraid of ? If J ride two miles alone, why 
shouldn't I four ? — And I am doing right — God will take 
care of me." Ellen earnestly asked him to do so ; and after 
that she felt pretty easy. *' Now dear Brownie," said she 
patting his neck, — " you and I have work to do to-day ; 
behave like a good little horse as you are." The Brownie 
answered with a little cheerful kind of neigh, as much as to 
say. Never fear me ! — They trotted on nicely. 

But nothing could help that's being a disagreeable ride. 
Do what she would, Ellen felt a little afraid w^hen she found 
herself on a long piec ? of road where she had never been 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



Ill 



alone before. There were not many houses on the way ; the 
few there were looked strange ; Ellen did not know exactly 
where she was, or how near the end of her journey ; il 
seemed a long one. She felt rather lonely ; — a little shy 
of meeting people, and yet a little unwilling to have the 
intervals between them so very long. She repeated to her- 
self, " I am doing right — God will take care of me," — still there 
was a nervous trembling at heart. Sometimes she would pat 
her pony's neck and say, " Trot on dear Brownie ! we'll soon 
be there!" — by way of cheering herself; for certainly the 
Brownie needed no cheering, and was trotting on bravely. 
Then the thought of Mr. Van Brunt, as she had seen him 
lying on the barn floor, made her feel sick and miserable ; 
many tears fell during her ride when she remembered him. 
*' Heaven will be a good place," thought little Ellen as she 
went ; — " there will be no sickness, no pain, no sorrow ; but 
Mr. Van Brunt! — I wonder if he is fit to go to heaven?" — ■ 
This was a new matter of thought and uneasiness, not now 
for the first time in Ellen's mind ; and so the time passed till 
she crossed the bridge over the little river and saw the 
houses of Thirlwall stretching away in the distance. Then 
she felt comfortable. 

Long before, she had bethought her that she did not know 
where to find Dr. Gibson, and had forgotten to ask Jenny. 
For one instant Ellen drew bridle, but it was too far to go 
back, and she recollected anybody could tell her where the 
doctor lived. When she got to Thirlwall however Ellen found 
that she did not like to ask anyhody ; she remembered her 
old friend Mrs. Forbes of the Star inn, and resolved she 
would go there in the first place. She rode slowly up the street, 
looking carefully till she came to the house. There was no mis- 
taking it ; there was the very same big star over the front door 
that had caught her eye from the coach-window, and there was 
the very same boy or man, Sam, lounging on the sidewalk. 
Ellen reined up and asked him to ask Mrs. Forbes if she 
would be so good as to come out to her for one minute. Sam 
gave her a long Yankee look and disappeared, coming back 
again directly with the landlady. 

" How d';ye do, Mrs. Forbes?" said Ellen, holding out hei 
hand ; — " don't you know me ? I am Ellen Montgomery — ■ 



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that you were so kind to, and gave me bread and milk, — • 
when I first came here, — Miss Fortune's — " 

" bless your dear little heart," cried the landlady ; " don't 
I know you ! and aint I glad to see you ! I must have a kiss. 
Bless you ! I couldn't mistake you in Jerusalem, but the sun 
was in my eyes in that way I was a'most blind. But aint 
you grown though ! Forget you ? I guess I ha'n't ! there's 
one o' your friends wouldn't let me do that in a hurry ; if I ha'n't 
seen you I've heerd on you. But what are you sitting there 
m the sun for ? come in — come in— and I'll give you something 
better than bread and milk this time. Come ! jump down." 

"01 can't, Mrs. Forbes," said Ellen, — " 1 am in a great 
hurry ; — Mr. Van Brunt has broken his leg, and I want to 
find the doctor." 

" Mr. Van Brunt !" cried the landlady. " Broken his leg ! 
The land's sakes ! how did he do that ? he too !" 

" He fell down through the trap-door in the barn ; and I 
want to get Dr. Gibson as soon as I can to come to him. 
Where does he live, Mrs. Forbes ?" 

" Dr. Gibson ? you won't catch him to hum, dear ; he's 
flying round somewheres. But how come the trap-door to 
be open ? and how happened Mr. Van Brunt not to see it afore 
he put his foot in it ? bear ! J declare I'm real sorry to hear 
you tell. How happened it, darlin' ? I'm cur'ous to hear." 

" I don't know, Mrs Forbes," said Ellen, — " but oh where 
shall I find Dr. Gibson ? Do tell me !— he ought to be there 
now ; — oh help me ! where shall 1 go for him ?" 

Well, I declare," said the landlady, stepping back a pace, 
— "I don' know as I can tell — there aint no sort o' likelihood 
that he's to hum at this time o' day — Sam ! you lazy feller, 
you ha'n't got nothing to do but to gape at folks, ha' you 
seen the doctor go by this forenoon ?" 

" I seen him go down to Miss' Perriman's," said Sam, — ■ 
Miss' Perriman was a dyin' — JimBarstow said." 

"How long since?" said his mistress. 

But Sam shuffled and shuffled, looked every way but at 
Ellen or Mrs. Forbes, and " didn' know." 

" Well then," said Mrs. Forbes, turning to Ellen, — " I don* 
know but you might about as well go down to the post-office 
— but if 1 was you, I'd just get Dr. Marshchalk instead ! he's 



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113 



a smarter man than Dr. Gibson any day in the year; and he 
aint quite so awful high neither, and that's something. I'd 
get Dr. Marshchalk ; tliey say there aint the hke o' him in the 
country for settin' bones ; it's quite a gift ; — he takes to it 
natural like." 

But Ellen said Mr. Van Brunt wanted Dr. Gibson, and if 
she could she must find him. 

"Well," said Mrs. Forbes, "everyone has their fancies ; 
— / wouldn't let Dr. Gibson come near me with a pair of 
tongs ; — but anyhow if you must have him, your best way is 
to go right straight down to the post-office and ask for him 
there, — maybe you'll catch him." 

" Thank you, ma'am," said Ellen ; — " where is the post- 
office ?" 

" it's that whitefaced house down street," said the land- 
lady, pointing with her finger where Ellen saw no lack of 
whitefaced houses, — " you see that big red store with the 
man standing out in front ? — the next white house below that 
is Miss' Perriman's ; just run right in and ask for Dr. Gibson. 
Good bye, dear, — I'm real sorry you can't come in ; — that 
first white house." 

Glad to get free, Ellen rode smartly down to the post- 
office. Nobody before the door ; there was nothing for it 
but to get off here and go in ; she did not know the people 
eithor. " Never mind ! wait for me a minute, dear Brownie, 
like a good little horse as you are !" 

No fear of the Brownie. He stood as if he did not mean 
to budge again in a century. At first going in Ellen saw no- 
body in the post-office ; presently, at an opening in a kind of 
boxed up place in one corner a face looked out and asked 
what she wanted. 

" Is Dr. Gibson here ?" 

" No," said the owner of the face, with a disagreeable kind 
of smile. 

" Isn't this Miss Perriman's house ?" 

" You are in the right box, my dear, and no mistake," said 
the young man, — " but then it aint Dr. Gibson's house, you 
know." 

" Can you tell me, sir, where I can find him ?" 

"Can't indeed— the doctor never tells me where he is 



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going, and I never ask him. I am sorry I didn't this mora- 
ing, for your sake." 

The way, and the look, made the words extremely disa- 
greeable, and furthermore Ellen had an uncomfortable feehng 
that neither w^as new to her. Where had she seen the man 
before ? she puzzled herself to think. Where but in a dream 
had she seen that bold ill-favored face, that horrible smile, 
that sandy hair, — she knew ! It was Mr. Saunders, the man 
who had sold her the merino at St. Clair and Fleury's. She 
knew him ; and she was verry sorry to see that he knew her. 
All she desired now was to get out of the house and away ; 
but on turning she saw another man, older and respectable- 
looking, whose face encouraged her to ask again if Dr. Gib- 
son was there. He was not, the man said ; he had been there 
and gone. 

" Do you know where I should be likely to find him, 
sir?" 

" i^o T don't," said he ; — " who wants him ?" 

" I wan't to see him, sir." 
For yourself ?" 

"No sir; Mr. Van Brunt has broken his leg and w^ants 
Dr. Gibson to come directly and set it." 

" Mr. Van Brunt !" said he, — " Farmer Van Brunt that 
lives down towards the Cat's back ? I'm very sorry ! How 
did it happen ?" 

Ellen told as shortly as possible, and again begged to 
know where she might look for Dr. Gibson. 

" Well," said he, " the best plan I can think of will be 
for you — How did you come here ?" 

*' I came on horseback, sir." 
Ah — well — the best pl;in will be for you to ride up to 
his house ; maybe he'll have left word there, and anyhow 
you can leave word for him to come down as soon as he gets 
home. Do you know where the doctor lives ?" 
No sir." 

"Come here," said he pulling her to the door, — "you 
can't see it from here ; but you must ride up street till you 
have passed two churches ; one on the right hand first, and 
then a good piece beyond you'll come to another red brick 
one on the left hand ; — and Dr Gibson lives in the next block 



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115 



but one after that, on the other side ; — anybody will tell you 
the house. Is that your horse ?" 

" Yes sir. I'm very much obliged to you." 

" Well I will say ! — if you ha'n't the prettiest fit out in 
Thirlwall — shall I help you? will you have a cheer?" 

" No I thank you sir ; I'll bring him up to this step ; it 
will do just as well. I am very much obliged to you, sir." 

He did not seem to hear her thanks ; he was all eyes ; and 
with his clerk stood looking after her till she was out of 
sight. 

Poor Ellen found it a long way up to the doctor's. The 
post-office was near the lower end of the town and the doc- 
tor's house was near the upper ; she passed one church, and 
then the other, but there was a long distance between, or 
what she thought so. Happily the Brownie did not seem 
tired at all ; his little mistress was tired, and disheartened 
too. And there, all this time, was poor Mr. Van Brunt lying 
without a doctor ! She could not bear to think of it. 

She jumped down when she came to the block she had 
been told of, and easily found the house where Dr. Gibson 
lived. She knocked at the door. A grey-haired Avoman 
with a very dead-and-alive face presented herself. Ellen 
asked for the doctor. 

" He aint to hum." 

" When will he be at home ?" 

" Couldn't say." 

" Before dinner ?" 

The woman shook her head. — " Guess not till late m the 
day." 

" Where is he gone ?" 

" He is gone to Babcock — gone to ' attend a consumma- 
tion,' I guess he told me — Babcock is a considerable long 
way." 

Ellen thought a minute. 

" Can you tell me where Dr. Marshchalk lives ?" 
I guess you'd better wait till Dr. Gibson comes back, 
ha'n't you?" said the woman coaxingly ; — "he'll be along 
by-and-by. If you'll leave me your name I'll give it to him." 

" I cannot wait," said Ellen, — " I am in a dreadful hurry. 
Will you be so good as to tell me where Dr. Marshchalk 
_ives ?" 



il6 



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" Well — if so be you're in such a takin you can't wait — • 
you know where Miss Forbes lives?" 
" At the inn ? — the Star? — yes." 

*' He lives a few doors this side o' her'n ; you'll know it 
the first minute you set your eyes on it — it's painted a bright 
yaller." 

Ellen thanked her, once more mounted, and rode down the 
street. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 



And he had ridden o'er dale and down 

By eight o'clock in the day, 
When he was ware of a bold Tanner, 

Came riding along the way. 

Old Ballad. 

The yellow door, as the old woman had said, was not to 
be mistaken. Again Ellen dismounted and knocked ; then 
she heard a slow step coming along the entry, and the plea- 
sant kind face of Miss Janet appeared at the open door. It 
was a real refreshment, and Ellen wanted one. 

" Why it's dear little — aint it ? — her that lives down to 
Miss Fortune Emerson's ? — yes, it is ; — come in dear ; I'm 
very glad to see you. How's all at your house ?" 

" Is the doctor at home, ma'am?" 

" No dear, he aint to home just this minute, but he'll be in 
directly. Come in ; — is that your horse ? — ^just kitch him to 
the post there so he won't run away, and come right in. 
Who did you come along with ?" 

" Nobody ma'am ; I came alone," said Ellen while she 
obeyed Miss Janet's directions. 

Alone ! — on that 'ere little skittish creeter ? — he's as 
handsome as a picture too — why do tell if you warn't afraid ? 
it a'most scares me to think of it." 

*'I was a Uttle afraid," said Ellen, as she followed Miss 
Janet along the entry, — *'but I couldn't help that. You 
think the doctor will soon be in, ma'am ?" 

" Yes dear, sure of it," said IVIiss Janet, kissing Ellen and 
taking off her bonnet ; — " he won't be nve minutes, for it's 
a'most dinner time. What's the matter dear ? is Miss For- 
tune sick again ?" 

" No ma'am," said Ellen sadly, — " Mr. Van Brunt has 
fallen through the trap-door in the barn and broken his leg." 



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" Oh !" cried the old lady with a face of real horror, — ■ 
** you don't tell me ! Fell through the trap-door ! and he 
aint a light weight neither ; — oh that is a lamentable event ! 
And how is the poor old mother, dear ?" 

" She is very mucli troubled, ma'am," said Ellen, crying at 
the remembrance ; — ".and he has been lying ever since early 
this morning without anybody to set it ; I have been going 
round and round for a doctor this ever so long." 

" Why warn't there nobody to come but you, you poor 
lamb ?" said Miss Janet. 

*' No ma'am ; nobody quick enough ; and I had the 
Brownie there, and so I came." 

" Well cheer up, dear ! the doctor will be here now and 
we'll send him right off ; he won't be long about his dinner, 
I'll engage. Come and set in this big cheer — do ! — it'll rest 
you ; 1 see you're a'most tired out, and it aint a wonder. 
There — don't that feel better ? now I'll give you a little sup 
of dinner, for you won't want to swallow it at the rate Lean- 
der will his'n. Dear ! dear ! — to think of poor Mr. Van 
Brunt. He's a likely man too ; — I'm very sorry for him and 
his poor mother. A kind body she is as ever the sun shined 
upon." 

" And so is he," said Ellen. 

*' Well so I dare say," said Miss Janet, — "but I don't 
know so much about him ; howsever he's got everybody's 
good word as far as I know; — he's a likely man." 

The little room into which Miss Janet had brought Ellen 
was very plainly furnished indeed, but as neat as hands could 
make it. The carpet was as crumbless and lintless as if meals 
were never taken there nor work seen ; and yet a little table 
ready set for dinner forbade the one conclusion, and a huge 
basket of naperies in one corner showed that Miss Janet's 
industry did not spend itself in housework alone. Before the 
fire stood a pretty good-sized kettle, and a very appetising 
smell came from it to Ellen's nose. In spite of sorrow and 
anxiety her ride had made her hungry. It was not without 
pleasure that she saw her kind hostess arm herself with a 
deep plate and tin dipper, and carefully taking off the pot- 
cover so that no drops might fall on the hearth, proceed to 
ladle out a goodly supply of what Ellen knew was that excel- 
lent country dish called pot-pie. Excellent it is when well 



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119 



made, and that was Miss Janet's. The pieces of crust were 
white and hglit hke new bread ; tlie very tit-bits of the meat 
she culled out for Elien ; and the soup gravy poured over all 
would have met even Miss Fortune's wishes, from its just 
decree of richness and exact seasonincr, Smokinjr hot it was 
placed before Ellen on a little stand by her easy chair, with 
some nice bread and butter ; and presently Miss Janet poured 
her out a cup of tea ; " for," she said, " Leander never could 
take his dinner without it." Ellen's appetite needed no silver 
fork. Tea and pot-pie were never better liked ; yet Miss 
Janet's enjoyment was perhaps greater still. She sat talking 
and looking at her little visitor with secret but immense 
satisfaction. 

" Have you heard what fine doings we're a going to have 
here by-and-by ?" said she. " The doctor's tired of me : 
he's going to get a new housekeeper ; — he's going to get 
married some of these days." 

" Is he !" said Ellen. " Not to Jenny !" 

" Yes indeed he is — to Jenny — Jenny Hitchcock ; and a 
nice little wife she'll make him. You're a great friend of 
Jenny, I know." 

*• How soon ?" said Ellen. 

"0 not just yet — by-and-by — after we get a little smarted 
up, I guess ; — before a great while. Don't you think he'll 
be a happy man ?" 

Ellen could not help wondering, as the doctor just then 
came in and she looked up at his unfortunate three-cornered 
face, whether Jenny would be a happy woman? But as 
people often do, she judged only from the outside ; Jenny 
had not made such a bad choice after all. 

The doctor said he would go directly to Mr. Van Brunt 
after he had been over to Mrs. Sibnorth's ; it wouldn't be a 
minute. Ellen meant to ride back in his company ; and 
having finished her dinner waited now only for him. But the 
one minute passed — two minutes — ten — twenty — she waited 
impatiently, but he came not. 

" I'll tell you how it must be," said his sister, — " he's gone 
off without his dinner calculating to get it at Miss Hitchcock's, 
— he'd be glad of the chance. That's how it is, dear ; and 
you'll have to ride home alone ; I'm real sorry. S'pose you 
stop tin eyening, and I'll make the doctor go along with you. 



120 



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But oh dear ! maybe he wouldn't be able to neither ; he's 
got to go up to that tiresome Mrs. Robin's ; it's too bad. 
Well take good care of yourself darling ; — couldn't you stop 
till it's cooler ? — well come and see me as soon as you can 
again, but don't come without someone else along ! Good- 
bye ! I wish I could keep you," 

She went to the door to see her mount, and smiled and 
nodded her off, 

Ellen was greatly refreshed with her rest and her dinner ; 
it grieved her, that the Brownie had not fared as well. All 
the refreshment that kind words and patting could give him, 
she gave ; promised him the freshest of water and the sweet- 
est of hay when he should reach home ; and begged him to 
keep up his spirits and hold on for a little longer. It may be 
doubted whether the Brownie understood the full sense of 
her words, but he probably knew what the kind tones and 
gentle hand meant. He answered cheerfull}^ tlirew up his 
head and gave a little neigh, as much as to say, he wa.sn't 
going to mind a few hours of sunshine ; and trotted on as if 
he knew his face was towards home, — which no doubt he did. 
Luckily it was not a very hot day ; for August, it was re- 
markably cjooI and beautiful; indeed there was little very hot 
weather ever known in Thirlwall. Ellen's heart felt easier, 
now that her business was done ! and when she had left the 
town behind her and was again in the fields, she was less timid 
than she had been before ; she was going towards home ; 
that makes a great difference ; and every step was bringing 
her nearer. " I am glad I came, after all," she thought ; — " but 
I hope I shall never have to do such a tiling again. But I 
am glad I came." 

She had no more than crossed the little bridge however, 
when she saw what brought her heart into her mouth. It 
was Mr. Saunders, lolling under a tree. What could he have 
come there for at that time of day ? A vague feeling crossed 
her mind that if she could only get past him she should pass 
a danger ; she thought to ride by without seeming to see 
him, and quietly gave the Brownie a pat to make him go 
faster. But as she drew near Mr. Saunders rose up, came 
to the middle of the road, and taking hold of her bridle 
checked her pony's pace so that he could walk alongside ; to 
Ellen's unspeakable dismay. 



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121 



" What's kept you so long ?" said he ; — " I've been look- 
ing out for you this great while. Had hard work to find the 
doctor?" 

" Won't you please to let go of my horse," said Ellen, her 
heart beating very fast ; — " I am in a great hurry to get 
home ; — please. don't keep me." 

"01 want to see you a little," said Mr. Saunders ; — " you 
aint in such a hurry to get away from me as that comes to, 
are you ?" 

Ellen was silent. 

" It's quite a long time since I saw you last," said he ; — 
how have the merinos worn ?" 

Ellen could not bear to look at his face and did not see the 
expression which went with these words, yet she ftlt it." 

''They have worn very well," said she, "but I want to 
get home very much — 'please let me e^o." 

"Not yet — not yet," said he, — " O no, not yet. I want to 
talk to you ; why what are you in such a devil of a hurry 
for ? I came out on purpose ; do you think I am going to 
have all my long waiting for nothing ?" 

Ellen did not know what to say ; her heart sprang with a 
nameless pang to the thought, if she ever got free from this ! 
Meanwhile she was not free. 

"Whose horse is that you're on?" 

" Mine," said Ellen. 

" Your'n ! that's a likely story. I guess he aint your'n, 
and so you won't mind if I touch him up a little ; — I want to 
see how well you can sit a horse." 

Passing his arm through the bridle as he said these words, 
Mr. Saunders led the pony down to the side of the road where 
grew a clump of high bushes ; and with some trouble cut oflf 
a long stout sapling. Ellen looked in every direction while 
he was doing this, despairing, as she looked, of aid from any 
quarter of the broad quiet open country. O for wings ! But 
she could not leave the Brownie if she had them. 

Returning to the middle of the road, Mr. Saunders amused 
himself as they walked along with stripping off all the leaves 
and little twigs from his sapling, leaving it when done a very- 
good imitation of an ox-whip in size and length, with a fine 
lash-like point. Ellen watched him in an ecstasy of appre- 
hension, afraid alike to speak or to be silent. 

VOL. II. 6 



122 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



*' There ! what do you think of that V* said he, giving it 
two or three switches in the air to try its suppleness and 
toughness ; — *' don't that look hke a whip ? Now we'll see 
how he'll go!" 

" Please don't do anything with it," said Ellen earnestly ; 
— " I never touch him with a whip, — he doesn't need it, — he 
isn't used to it ; pray, pray do not !" 

" we'll just tickle him a little witli it," said Mr. Saun- 
ders coolly, — " I want to see how well you'll sit him ; — ^just 
make him caper a little bit." 

He accordingly applied the switch lightly to the Brownie's 
heels, enough to annoy without hurting him. The Brownie 
showed signs of uneasiness, quitted his quiet pace, and took 
to little starts and springs and whiskey motions, most un- 
pleasing to his rider. 

do not !" cried Ellen, almost beside herself, — " he's very 
spirited, and I don't know Avhat he will do if you trouble him." 

You let me take care of that," said Mr. Saunders ; — " if 
he troubles me I'll give it to him ! If he rears up, only you 
catch hold of his mane and hold on tight, and you won't fall 
off ; — I want to see him rear." 

*' But you'll give him bad tricks !" said Ellen. " pray 
don't do so ! It's very bad for him to be teased. I am 
afraid he will kick if you do so, and he'd be ruined if he got 
a habit of kicking. 6 please let us go !" said she with the 
most acute accent of entreaty, — " I want to be home." 

" You keep quiet," said Mr. Saunders coolly ; — " if he 
kicks I'll give him such a lathering as he never had yet ; he 
won't do it but once. I aint a-going to hurt him, but I am 
a-going to make him rear; — no, 1 won't, — I'll make him leap 
over a rail, the first bar-place we come to ; that'll be prettier." 

** you musn't do that," said Ellen ; — " I have not learn- 
ed to leap yet ; I couldn't keep on ; you musn't do that if 
you please." 

You just hold fast and hold your tongue. Catch hold 
of his ears, and you'll stick on fast enough ; if you can't you 
may get down, for I am going to make him take the leap 
whether you will or no." 

Ellen feared still more to get off and leave the Brownie to 
her tormentor's mercy than to stay where she was and take 
her chance. She tried in vain, as well as she could, to soothe 



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123 



her horse ; the touches of the whip coming now in one place 
and now in another, and some of them pretty sharp, he began 
to grow very frisky indeed ; and she began to be very much 
frightened for fear she should suddenly be jerked off. With 
a good deal of presence of mind, though wrought up to a ter- 
rible pitch of excitement and fear, Ellen gave her best atten- 
tion to keeping her seat as the Brownie sprang and started 
and jumped to one side and the other ; Mr. Saunders holding 
the bridle as loose as possible so as to give him plent}^ of 
room. For some little time he amused himself with this game, 
the horse growing more and more irritated. At length a 
smart stroke of the whip upon his haunches made the 
Brownie spring in a way that brought Ellen's heart into her 
mouth, and almost threw her off. 

" Oh don't !" cried Ellen, bursting into tears for the first 
time, — she had with great effort commanded them back until 
now ; — " poor Brownie ! — How can you ! Oh please let us 
go ! — please let us go !" 

For one minute she dropped her face in her hands. 
Be quiet !" said Mr. Saunders. " Plere's a bar-place — 
now for the leap !" 

Ellen wiped away her tears, forced back those that were 
coming, and began the most earnest remonstrance and plead- 
inof with Mr. Saunders that she knew how to make. He Daid 

CD ^ . ' 

her no sort of attention. He led the Brownie to the side of 
the road, let down all the bars but the lower two, let go the 
bridle, and stood a little off prepared with his whip to force 
the horse to take the spring. 

" I tell you I shall fall," said Ellen, reining him back. 
" How can you be so cruel ! — I want to go home !" 

" Well you aint a going home yet. Get off, if you are 
afraid." 

But though trembling in every nerve from head to foot, 
Ellen fancied the Brownie was safer so long as he had her on 
his back ; she would not leave him. She pleaded her best, 
which Mr. Saunders heard as if it was amusing, and without 
making any answer kept the horse capering in front of the 
bars, pretending every minute he was going to whip him up 
to take the leap. His object however was merely to gratify 
the smallest of minds by teasing a child he had a spite 
against ; he had no intention to risk breaking her bones by a 



124 



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fall from her horse ; so in time he had enough of the bar- 
place ; took the bridle again and walked on. Ellen drew 
breath a little more freely. 

" Did you hear how 1 handled your old gentleman after 
that time ?" said Mr. Saunders. 

Ellen made no answer. 

" No one ever affronts me that don't hear news of it after- 
wards, and so he found to his cost. / paid him off, to my 
heart's content. I gave the old fellow a lesson to behave in 
future. I forgive him now entirely. By the way I've a little 
account to settle with you — didn't you ask Mr. Perriman this 
morning if Dr. Gibson was in the house ?" 

" I don't know who it was," said Ellen. 

" Well, hadn't I told you just before he warn't there ?" 

Ellen was silent. 
What did you do that for, eh ? Didn't you believe me ?" 

Still she did not speak. 
I say !" said Mr. Saunders, touching the Brownie as he 
spoke, — " did you think I told you a lie about it ? — eh ?" 

" I didn't know but he might be there," Ellen forced her- 
self to say. 

" Then you didn't believe me ?" said he, always with that 
same smile upon his face ; Ellen knew that. 

Now that warn't handsome of you — and I'm agoing to 
punish you for it, somehow or 'nother ; but it aint pretty to 
quarrel with ladies, so Brownie and me'll settle it together. 
You won't mind that I dare say." ■ 

" What are going to do ?" said Ellen, as he once more drew 
her down to the side of the fence. 

" Get off and you'll see," said he, laughing ; — " get off and 
you'll see." 

" What do you want to do ?" repeated Ellen, though scarce 
able to speak the words. 

"I'm just going to tickle Brownie a httle, to teach you to 
believe honest folks when they speak the truth ; get off!" 

" No I won't," said Ellen, throwing both arms round the 
neck of her pony ; — " poor Brownie ! — you sha'n't do it. He 
hasn't done any harm, nor I either ; you are a bad man !" 
Get off !" repeated Mr. Saunders. 

** I will not !" said Ellen, still clinging fast. 

" Very well," said he coolly, — " then I will take you oflf ; 



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it don't make much difference. We'll go along a little further 
till 1 find a nice stone for you to sit down upon. If you had 
got off then I wouldn't ha' done much to him, but I'll give it 
to him n«w ! If he hasn't been used to a whip he'll know 
pretty well what it means by the time I have done with him ; 
and then you may go home as fast as you can." 

It is very likely Mr. Saunders would have been as good, or 
as bad, as his word. His behavior to Ellen in the store at New 
York, and the measures taken by the old gentleman who had 
befriended her, had been the cause of his dismissal from the 
employ of Messrs. St. Clair and Fleury. Two or three other 
attempts to get into business had come to nothing, and he 
had been obliged to return to his native town. Ever since, 
Ellen and the old gentleman had lived in his memory as ob- 
jects of the deepest spite ; — the one for interfering, the other 
for having been the innocent cause ; and he no sooner saw 
her in the post-office than he promised himself revenge, such 
revenge as only the meanest and most cowardly spirit could 
have taken pleasure in. His best way of distressing Ellen, 
he found, was through her horse ; he had almost satisfied 
himself ; but very naturally his feeling of spite had grown 
stronger and blunter with indulgence, and he meant to wind 
up with such a treatment of her pony, real or seeming, as he 
knew would give great pain to the pony's mistress. He was 
prevented. 

As they went slowly along, Ellen still clasping the Brownie's 
neck and resolved to cling to him to the last, Mr. Saunders 
making him caper in a way very uncomfoi'table to her, one 
was too busy and the other too deafened by fear to notice the 
sound of fast approaching hoofs behind them. It happened 
that John Humphreys had passed the night at Ventnor; nnd 
having an errand to do for a friend at Thirlwall had taken that 
road, which led him but a few miles out of his way, and was 
now at full speed on his way home. He had never made the 
Brownie's acquaintance, and did not recognize Ellen as he 
came up ; but in passing them some strange notion crossing 
his mind he wheeled his horse round directly in front of the 
astonished pair. Ellen quitted her pony's neck, and stretch- 
ing out both arms towards him exclaimed, almost shrieked, 
" Oh, John ! John ! send him away ! make him let me go !" 

" What are you about, sir ?" said the new-comer steraly. 



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" It's none of your business !" answered Mr. Saunders, in 
whom rage for the time overcame cowardice. 

"Take your hand off the bridle !" — with a shght touch of 
the riding'-whip upon the hand in question. 

" Not for you, brother," said Mr. Saunders sneeringly ; — "I'll 
walk with any lady I've a mind to. Look out for yourself!" 

" We will dispense with your further attendance," said John 
coolly. "Do you hear me ? — do as I order you !" 

The speaker did not put himself in a passion, and Mr. Saun- 
ders, accustomed for his own pai t to make bluster serve in- 
stead of prowess, despised a command so calmly given. — 
Ellen, who knew the voice, and still better could read the 
eye, drew conclusions very different. She was almost breath- 
less with terror. Saunders was enraged and mortified at an 
interference that promised to baffle him ; he was a stout young 
man, and judged himself the stronger of the two, and took 
notice besides that the stranger had nothing in his hand but 
a slight riding-whip. He answered very insolently and with 
an oath ; and John saw that he was taking the bridle in his 
left hand and shifting his sapling whip so as to bring the 
club end of it uppermost. I'he next instant he aimed a fu- 
rious blow at his adversary's horse. '1 he quick eye and hand 
of the the rider disappointed that Avith a sudden swerve. In 
another moment, and Ellen hardly saw how, it was so quick, 
— John had dismounted, taken Mr. Saunders by the collar, 
and hurled him quite over into the gulley at the side of the 
road, where he lay at full length without stirring. 

" Ride on Ellen !" said her deliverer. 

She obeyed. He stayed a moment to say to his fallen ad- 
versary a few words of pointed warning as to ever repeating 
his offence ; then remounted and spurred forward to join 
Ellen. All her power of keeping up was gone, now that the 
necessity was over. Her head was once more bowed on her 
pony's neck, her whole frame shaking with convulsive sobs ; 
she could scarce with great effort keep from crying out 
aloud. 

" Ellie !" — said her adopted brother, in a voice that could 
hardly be known for the one that had last spoken. She had 
no words, but as he gently took one of her hands, the convul- 
sive squeeze it gave him shewed the state of nervous excite- 
ment she was in. It was very long before his utmost efforts 



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oould soothe her, or she could command herself enough to 
tell him her story. When at last told, it was with many 
tears. 

" Oh how could he ! how could he !" said poor Ellen ; — 
*' how could he do so ! — it was very hard !" — 

An involuntary touch of the spurs made John's horse 
start. 

" But what took you to Thiriwall alone ?" said he ; — " you 
have not told me that yet." 

Ellen went back to Timothy's invasion of the cabbages, 
and gave him the whole history of the morning. 

" i thought when I was going for the doctor, at first," said 
she, — " and then afterwards when I had found him, what a 
good thing it w^as that Timothy broke down the garden fence 
and got in this morning ; for if it had not been for that I 
should not have p-one to Mr. Van Brunt's ; — and then aofain 
after that I thought, if he only had'nt !" 

" Little thino^s often draw after them lono^ trains of circum- 
stances," said John, — " and that shows the folly of those peo- 
ple who think that God does not stoop to concern himself about 
trifles ; — life, and much more than life, may hang upon the 
turn of a hand. But Ellen, you must ride no more alone, — 
Promise me that you will not." 

" I will not to Thiriwall certainly," said Ellen, — " but mayn't 
I to Alice's ? — how can I help it ?" 

Well — to AHce's — that is a safe part of the country ; — but 
I should like to know a little more of your horse before trust- 
ing you even there." 

" Of the Brownie ?" said Ellen ; — " O he is as good as he can 
be ; you need not be afraid of him ; he has no trick at all ; 
there never w^as such a good little horse." 

John smiled. " How do you like mine ?" said he. 
Is that your new one ? what a beauty ! — me, what 
a beauty ! I didn't look at him before. O I like him very 
much ! he's handsomer than the Brownie ; — do you like 
him ?" 

" Very well ! — this is the first trial I have made of him. I 
was at Mr. Marshman's last night, and they detained me this 
morning or I should have been here much earlier. I am very 
well satisfied with him, so far." 

" And if you had not been detained !" — said Ellen. 



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" Yes Ellie — I should not have fretted at my late break- 
fast and having to try Mr. Marsbman's favorite mare, if 1 had 
known what good purpose the delay was to serve. I wish I 
could have been here half an hour sooner, though." 

" Is his name the Black Prince ?" said Ellen^ returning to 
the horse. 

Yes, I believe so ; but you shall change it ElUe, if you 
can find one you like better." 

"01 cannot ! — I like that very much. How beautiful he 
is ! Is he good ?" 

" I hope so," said John smiling ; — " if he is not 1 shall be at 
the pains to make him so. We are hardly acquainted yet." 

Ellen looked doubtfully at the black horse and his rider, 
and patting the Brownie's neck, observed with great satisfac- 
tion that he was very good. 

John had been riding very slowly on Ellen's account ; they 
now mended their pace. He saw how^ever that she still 
looked miserably, and exerted himself to turn her thoughts 
from everything disagreeable. Much to her amusement he 
rode round her two or three times, to view her horse and 
show her his own ; commended the Brownie ; praised her 
bridle hand ; corrected several things about her riding ; and 
by degrees engaged her in very animated conversation. Ellen 
roused up ; the color came back to her cheeks ; and when 
they reached home and rode round to the glass door she 
looked almost like herself. 

She sprang off as usual without waiting for any help. 
John scarce saw that she had done so, when Alice's cry of 
joy brought him to the door, and from that together they 
went in to their father's study. Ellen was left alone on the 
lawn. Something was the matter ; for she stood with swim- 
ming eyes and a trembling lip, nibbing her stirrup, which 
really needed no polishing, and forgetting the tired horses, 
which would have had her sympathy at any other time. 
What was the matter ? Only — that Mr. John had forgotten 
the kiss he always gave her on going or coming. Ellen was 
jealous of it as a pledge of sistership, and could not want it : 
and though she tried as hard as she could to get her face in 
order, so tliat she might go in and meet them, somehow it 
seemed to take a great while. She was still busy with her 
stirrup, when she suddenly felt two hands on her shoulders. 



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and looking up received the very kiss the want of which she 
had been himeniing. But John saw the tears in her eyes, 
and asked her, she thought with somewhat of a comical look, 
what the matter was ? Ellen was ashamed to tell, but he 
had her there by the shoulders, and besides, whatever that 
eye demanded she never knew how to keep back ; so with 
some difficulty she told him. 

" You are a foolish child, Ellie," said he gently, and kissing 
her again. " Run in out of the sun while I see to the horses." 

Ellen ran in, and told her long story to Alice ; and then feel- 
ing very weary and weak she sat on the sofa and lay resting in 
her arras in a state of the most entire and unruffled happiness. 
Alice however after a while transferred her to bed, thinking 
with good reason that a long sleep would be the best thing 
for her. 



6* 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 



Now is t!ie jhleasant fime, 
Tlie cool, the silent, save where silence yields 
To the night warbling bird ; that now awake. 
Tunes sweetest her love labored song ; now reigns 
Full orbed the moon, and with more pleasing light 
Shadowy, sets off the face of things. 

Milton. 

When Ellen came out of Alice's room again it was late in 
the afternoon. 'J'he sun was so low that the shadow of the 
house had crossed the narrow lawn and mounted up near to 
the top of the trees ; but on them he was still shining brightly, 
and on the broad landscape beyond, which lay open to view 
through the gap in the trees. The glass door w^as open ; the 
sweet summer air and the sound of birds and insects and flut- 
tering leaves floated into the room, making tlie stillness musi- 
cal. On the thresliold pussy sat crouched, with his fore-feet 
doubled under his breast, watching with intense gravity the 
operations of Margery, who was setting the table on the lawn 
just before his eyes. Alice Avas paring peaches. 

** we are going to have tea out of doors, aren't we ?" 
said Ellen. " I'm very glad. What a lovely evening, isn't 
it? Just look at pussy, will you, Alice ? don't you believe 
he knows what Margery is doing ? — Why didn't you call me 
to go along with you after peaches?" 

" I thought you were doing the very best thing you possi- 
bly could, Ellie, my dear. How do you do ?" 

"0 nicely now! Where's Mr. John? I hope he won't 
ask for my last drawing to-night, — I want to fix the top of 
that tree before he sees it." 

" Fix the top of your tree, you little Yankee ?" said Alice ; 
— " what do you think John would say to that ? — wnfix it you 
mean ; it is too stiff already, isn't it ?" 



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131 



" Well what shall I say ?' said Ellen laughing. " I am 
sorry that is Yankee, for 1 suppose one must speak English. 
— 1 want to do something to my tree, then. — Where is he, 
Ahce ?" 

"He is gone down to Mr. Van Brunt's, to see hoAv he is, 
and to speak to Miss Fortune about you on his way back." 

" how kind of him ! — he's very good ; that is just what 
1 want to know ; but I am sorry, after his long ride" — 

" He don't mind that, Ellie. He'll be home presently." 

" How nice those peaches look ; — they are as good as 
strawberries, don't you think so? — better, — I don't know 
which is best ; — but Mr. John likes these best, don't he ? 
Now you've done ! — shall I set them on the table ? — and 
here's a pitcher of splendid cream, Alice !" 

" You had better not tell John so, or he will make you de- 
fine splendid. 

John came back in good time, and brought word that Mr. 
Van Brunt was doing very well, so far as could be known ; 
also, that Miss Fortune consented to Ellen's remaining where 
she was. He wisely did not say, however, that her consent 
had been slow to gain till he had hinted at his readiness to 
provide a substitute for Ellen's services ; on which Miss For- 
tune had instantly declared she did not want her and she 
might stay as long as she pleased. This was all that was 
needed to complete Ellen's felicity. 

Wasn't your poor horse too tired to go out again this 
afternoon, Mr. John?" 

*' I did not ride him, Ellie ; I took yours." 

"The Brownie! — did you? — I'm very glad! How did 
you like him ? But perhaps he was tired a little, and you 
couldn't tell so well to-day." 

" He was not tired with any work you had given him, 
Ellie ; — perhaps he may be a little now." 

" Why ?" said Ellen, somewhat alarmed. 

" 1 have been trying him ; and instead of going quietly 
along the road we have been taking some of the fences in our 
way. As I intend practising you at the bar, I wished to 
make sure in the first place that he knew his lesson." 

" Well how did he do ?" 

" Perfectly well — I believe he is a good little fellow. I 



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wanted to satisfy myself if he was fit to be trusted with you ; 
and I rather think Mr. Marshman has taken care of that." 

The whole wall of trees was in shadow when the little family 
sat down to table ; but there was still the sun-lit picture be- 
hind ; and there was another kind of sunshine in every face 
at the table. Quietly happy the whole four, or at least thi! 
whole three, were ; first, in being together, — after that, in all 
things beside. Never was tea so refreshing, or bread and 
butter so sweet, or the song of birds so delightsome. When 
the birds were gone to their nests, the cricket and grasshop- 
per and tree-toad and katy-did, and nameless other songsters, 
kept up a concert, — nature's own, — in delicious harmony with 
woods and flowers and summer breezes and evening light. 
Ellen's cup of enjoyment was running over. From one beau- 
tiful thing to another her eye wandered, — from one joy to 
another her thoughts went, — till her full heart fixed on the 
God who had made and given them all, and that Redeemer 
whose blood had been their purchase-money. From the dear 
friends beside her, the best-loved she had in the world, she 
thought of the one dearer yet from whom death had separat- 
ed her ; — yet living still, — and to whom death would restore 
her, thanks to Him who had burst the bonds of death and 
broken the gates of the grave, and made a way for his ran- 
somed to pass over. And the thought of Him was the joy- 
fullest of all ! 

"You look happy, Ellie," said her adopted brother. 

" So I am," said Ellen, smiling a very bright smile. 

" What are you thinking about ?" — 

But John saw it would not do to press his question. 

" You remind me," said he, "of some old fairy story that 
my childish ears received, in which the fountains of the sweet 
and bitter waters of life were said to stand very near each 
other, and to mingle their streams but a little way from their 
source. Your tears and smiles seem to be brothers and sis- 
ters ; — whenever we see one we may be sure the other is not 
far off." 

" My dear Jack !" said Alice laughing, — what an unhappy 
simile ! Are brothers and sisters always found like that ?" 

" I wish they were," said John sighing and smiling ; — " but 
my last words had nothing to do with my simile as you call it.'* 



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133 



When tea was over, and Margery had withdrawn tlie 
things and taken away the table, they still lingered in their 
places. It was far too pleasant to go in. Mr. Humphreys 
moved his chair to the side of the house, and thiowing a 
handkerchief over his head to defend him from the mos- 
quitoes, a few of which were buzzing about, he either 
listened, meditated, or slept ; — most probably one of tlie two 
latter ; for the conversation was not very loud nor very lively ; 
it was happiness enough merely to breathe so near each other. 
The sun left the distant fields and hills ; soft twilight stole 
through the woods, down the gap, and over the plain ; the 
grass lost its green ; the wall of trees grew dark and dusky ; 
and very faint and dim showed the picture that was so bright 
a little while ago. As they sat quite silent, listening to what 
nature had to say to them, or letting fancy and memory take 
their way, the silence v/as broken — hardly broken — by the 
distinct far-off cry of a Avhip-poor-will. Alice grasped her 
brother's arm, and they remained motionless, while it came 
nearer, nearer, — then quite near, — with its clear, wild, shrill, 
melancholy note sounding close by them again and again, — 
strangely, plaintively, — then leaving the lawn, it was heard 
further and further off, till the last faint " whip-poor-will," in 
the far distance, ended its pretty interlude. It was almost 
too dark to read faces, but the eyes of the brother and sister 
had sought each other and remained fixed till the bird was 
out of hearing ; then Alice's hand was removed to his, and 
her head found its old place on her brother's shoulder. 

" Sometimes John," said Ahce, " I am afraid I have one 
tie too strong to this world. I cannot bear — as I ought — to 
have you away from me." 

Her brother's lips were instantly pressed to her forehead. 

" I may say to you Alice, as Col. Gardiner said to his wife, 
' we have an eternity to spend together !' " 

I wonder," said Alice after a pause, — " how those can 
bear to love or be loved, whose affection can see nothing but 
a blank beyond the grave." 

" Few people, I believe," said her brother, " would come 
exactly under that description ; most flatter themselves with 
a vague hope of reunion after death," 

" But that is a miserable hope — very different from ours." 

'* Very different indeed I — and miserable ; for it can only 



13i 



THE "WIDE, ^VIDE "WORLD. 



deceive ; but ours is sure. * Them that sleep in Jesus will 
God bring with him.' " 

" Precious !" said Ahce. " How exactly fitted to every 
want and mood of the mind are the sweet Bible words." 

" Well !" said Mr. Humphreys, rousing himself, — " I am 
going in! These mosquitoes have half eaten me up. Are 
you going to sit there all night?" 

" We are thinking of it, papa," said Alice cheerfully. 

He went in, and was heard calling Margery for a light. 

They had better lights on the lawn. The stars began to 
peep out through the soft blue, and as tlie blue grew deeper 
they came out more and brighter, till all heaven was hung 
with lamps. But that was not all. In the eastern horizon, 
just above the low hills that bordered the far side of the 
plain, a white light, spreading and growing and brightening, 
promised the moon, and promised that she would rise very 
splendid ; and even before she came began to throw a faint 
lustre over the landscape. All eyes were fastened, and 
exclamations burst, as the first silver edge showed itself, and 
the moon rapidly rising looked on them with her whole broad 
bright face ; lighting up not only their faces and figures but 
the wide country view that was spread out below, and touch- 
ing most beautifully the trees in the edge of the gap, and 
faintly the lawn ; while the wall of wood stood in deeper and 
blacker shadow than ever. 

Isn't that beautiful !" said Ellen. 

" Come round here, Ellie," said John ; — " Ahce may have 
you all the rest of the year, but when I am at home you 
belong to me. What was your little head busied upon a while 
ago?" 

When ?" said Ellen. 

" When I asked you " — 

1 know, — I remember. I was thinking " — 
"Well?"— 

" I was thinking — do you want me to tell you ?" 
"Unless you would rather not." 

1 was thinkino: about Jesus Christ," said Ellen in a low 
tone. 

" What about him, dear Ellie ?" said her brother, drawing 
her closer to his side. 

** Different things, — I was thinking of what he said about 



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135 



little children, — and about what he said, you know, — * In my 
Father's house are many mansions — and I was thinking that 
mamma was there ; and I thought — that we all " — 
Ellen could get no further. 

" ' He that believeth in him shall not be ashamed,' " said 
John softly. " ' This is the promise that he hath promised 
us, even eternal life ; and who shall separate us from the love 
of Christ ? Not death, nor things present, nor things to 
come. But he that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself 
even as he is pure ;' — let us remember that too." 

*' Mr. John," said Ellen presently, — " don't you like some 
of the chapters in the Revelation very much ?" 
Yes — very much. Why ? — do you ?" 

" Yes. I remember reading parts of them to mamma, and 
that is one reason, I suppose ; but I like them very much. 
There is a great deal I can't understand, though." 

" There is nothing finer in the Bible than parts of that 
book," said Ahce. 

" Mr. John," said Ellen, — ** what is meant by the * white 
stone ?* " 

" ' And in the stone a new name written ?' " — 
Yes — that I mean." 

Mr. Baxter says it is the sense of God's love in the 
heart ; and indeed that is it ' which no man knoweth saving 
him that receiveth it.' This, I take it, Ellen, was Christian's 
certificate, which he used to comfort himself with reading in, 
you remember ?" 

" Can a child have it ?" said Ellen thoughtfully. 

" Certainly — many children have had it — you may have it. 
Only seek it faithfully. ' Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and 
worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy 
ways.' — And Christ said, ' he that loveth me shall be loved of 
my Father, and I will love him, and I will manifest myself to 
him !' There is no failure in these promises, Ellie ; he that 
made them is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever." 

For a little while each was busy with his own meditations. 
The moon meanwhile, rising higher and higher, poured a 
flood of light through the gap in the woods before them, and 
stealing among the trees here and there lit up a spot of ground 
under their deep shadow. The distant picture lay in mazy 
brightness. All was still, but the ceaseless chirrup of insects 



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and gentle flapping of leaves ; the summer air just touched 
their cheeks with the lightest breath of a kiss, sweet from 
distant hay-fields, and nearer pines and hemlocks, and other 
of nature's numberless perfume-boxes. The hay-harvest had 
been remarkably late this year. 

" This is higher enjoyment,*' said John, — " than half those 
who make their homes in rich houses and mighty palaces 
have any notion of." 

" But, cannot rich people look at the moon ?" said Ellen. 

*' Yes, but the taste for pure pleasures is commonly gone 
when people make a tiade of pleasure." 

'•'Mr. John" — Ellen began. 

" I will forewarn you," said he, — " that Mr. John has made 
up his mind he will do nothing more for you. So if you 
have anything to ask, it must lie still, — unless you will begin 
again." 

Ellen drew back. He looked grave, but she saw Alice 
smiling. 

" But what shall I do ?" said she, a little perplexed and half 
laughing. " What do you mean Mr. John ? What does he 
mean Alice?" 

" You could speak without a * Mr.' to me this morning 
when you were in trouble." 

** Oh !" said Ellen laughing, — ** I forgot myself then." 

" Have the goodness to forget yourself permanently for the 
future." 

" Was that man hurt this morning, John ?" said his sister. 
" What man ?" 

" That man you delivered Ellen from." 

" Hurt ? no — nothing material ; I did not wish to hurt him. 
He richly deserved punishment, but it was not for me to 
give it." 

"He was in no hurry to get up," said Ellen. 

*' I do not think he ventured upon that till we were well 
out of the way. He lifted his head and looked after us as 
we rode off." 

" But I wanted to ask something," said Ellen, — " ! what 
is the reason the moon looks so much larger when she first 
gets up than she does afterwards ?" 

" Whom are you asking ?" 
You." 



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137 



'* And who is you ? Here are two people in the moonlight." 

** Mr. John Humpheys, — Alice's brother, and that Thomas 
calls * the young master,' " said Ellen laughing. 

" You are more shy of taking a leap than your little horse 
is," said John smiling, — " but i shall bring you up to it yet. 
What is the cause of the sudden enlargement of my thumb ?" 

He had drawn a small magnifying glass from his pocket 
and held it between his hand and Ellen, 

"Why it is not enlarged," said Ellen, — "it is only magni- 
fied." 

" What do you mean by that ?" 

" Why, the glass makes it look larger." 

** Do you know how, or why ?" 

" No." 

He put up the glass again. 

" But what do you mean by that ?" said Ellen ; — " there is 
no magnifying glass between us and the moon to make her 
look larger." 

" You are sure of that ?" 

" Why yes !" said Ellen ; — " I am perfectly sure ; there is 
nothing in the world. There she is, right up there, looking 
straight down upon us, and there is nothing between." 

" What is it that keeps up that pleasant fluttering of leaves 
in the wood ?" 

" Why, the wind." 

" And what is the wind ?" 

" It is air — air moving, I suppose." 

" Exactly. Then tliere is something between us and the 
moon." 

# " The air ! But, Mr. John, one can see quite clearly 
through the air; it doesn't make things look larger or 
smaller." 

" How far do you suppose the air reaches from us towards 
the moon ?" 

" Why, all the way, don't it ?" 

" No — only about forty miles. If it reached all the way 
there would indeed be no magnifying glass in the case." 

"But how is it?" said Ellen. " I don't understand." 

"I cannot tell you to-night, Ellie. There is a long lad- 
der of knowledge to go up before we can get to the moon, 
but we will begin to mount to-morrow, if nothing happens. 



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Alice, you have that httle book of Conversations on Natu- 
ral Philosophy, which you and I used to delight ourselves 
with in old time ?" 

" Safe and sound in the book-case," said Alice. " I have 
thought of giving it to Ellen before, but she has been busy 
enough with what she had already." 

" i have done Rollin now, though," said Ellen ; — " that is 
lucky. I am ready for the moon," 

'i'his new study was begun the next day, and Ellen took 
great delight in it. She would have run on too fast in her 
eagerness but for the steady hand of her teacher ; he obliged 
her to be very thorough. This was only one of her items of 
business. The weeks of John's stay were as usual not merely 
weeks of constant and varied delight, but of constant and swift 
improvement too. 

A good deal of time was given to the riding-lessons. John 
busied himself one morning in preparing a bar for her on the 
lawn ; so placed that it might fall if the horse's heels touched 
it. Here Ellen learned to take first standing, and then run- 
ning, leaps. She was afraid at first, but habit wore that off ; 
and the bar was raised higher and higher, till Margery de- 
clared she " couldn't stand and look at her going over it." 
Then John made her ride Avithout the stirrup, and with her 
hands behind her, while he, holding the horse by a long hal- 
ter, made him go round in a circle, slowly at first, and after- 
w^ards trotting and cantering, till Ellen felt almost as secure 
on his back as in a chair. It took a good many lessons how- 
ever to bring her to this, and she trembled very much at the 
beginning. Her teacher was careful and gentle, but deter- 
mined ; and whatever he said she did, tremble or no tremble ; 
and in general loved her riding lessons dearly. 

Drawing too went on finely. He began to let her draw 
things from nature ; and many a pleasant morning the three 
went out together with pencils and books and work, and spent 
hours in the open air. They would fir d a pretty point of 
view, or a nice shady place where the breeze came, and where 
there was some good old rock with a tree beside it, or a 
piece of fence, or the house or barn in the distance, for Ellen 
to sketch; and while she drew and Alice worked, John read 
aloud to them. Sometimes he took a pencil too, and Alice 
read ; and often, often, pencils, books and work were all laid 



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139 



down ; and talk, — lively, serious, earnest, always delightful, 
— took the place of them. When Ellen could not understand 
the words, at least she could read the faces ; and that was a 
study she was never weary of. At home there were other 
studies and much reading ; many tea drinkings on the lawn, 
and even breakfastings, which she thought uploasanter 
still. 

As soon as it was decided that Mr. Van Brunt's leg was 
doino- well, and in a fair way to be sound again, Ellen went to 
see him ; and after that rarely let two days pass without going 
again. John and Alice used to ride with her so far, and 
taking a turn beyond while she made her visit, call for her on 
their way back. She had a strong motive for going in the 
pleasure her presence always gave, both to Mr. Van Brunt 
and his mother. Sam Larkens had been to Thirlwall and 
seen Mrs. Forbes, and from him they had heard the story of 
her riding up and down the town in search of the doctor ; 
neither of them could forget it. Mrs. Van Brunt poured out 
her affection in all sorts of expressions whenever she had 
Ellen's ear ; her son was not a man of many words ; but Ellen 
knew his face and manner well enough without them, and read 
there whenever she went into his room what gave her great 
pleasure. 

"How do you do, Mr. Van Brunt?" she said on one of 
these occasions. 

" O I'm getting along, I s'pose," said he ; — "getting along 
as well as a man can that's lying on his back from morning 
to night ; — prostrated, as 'Squire Dennison said his corn was 
t'other day." 

" It is very tiresome, isn't it ?" said Ellen. 

" It's the tiresomest work that ever was, for a man that has 
two arras to be adoing nothing, day after day. And what 
bothers me is the wheat in that ten-acre lot, that ought to be 
prostrated too, and aint, nor aint like to be, as I know, imless 
the rain comes and does it. Sam and Johnny '11 make no 
head- way at all with it — I can tell as well as if I see 'em." 

" But Sam is good, isn't he ?" said Ellen. 

" Sam's as good a boy as ever was ; but then Johnny Lo\V 
is mischievous, you see, and he gets Sam out of his tracks 
once in a while. I never see a finer growth of wheat. I had 
a sight rather cut and harvest the hull of it t ban to lie here 



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and think of it getting spoiled. I'm a'most out o' conceit o 
trap-doors, Ellen," 

Ellen could not help smiling. 

" What can I do for you, Mr. Van Brunt ?" 

" There aint nothing," said he ; — " I wish there was. Ho\f 
are you coming along at home ?" 

" I don't know," said Ellen ; — " I am not there just now, 
you know ; I am staying up with Miss Alice again.' 

" ay ! while her brother's at home. He's a splendid man, 
that young Mr. Humphreys, aint he?" 

"01 knew that a great while ago," said, Ellen, the bright 
color of pleasure overspreading her face. 

** Well, / didn't, you see, till the other day, when he came 
here, very kindly, to see how I was getting on. I wish some- 
thing would bring him again. I never heerd a man talk I 
liked to hear so much. 

Ellen secretly resolved something should bring him ; and 
went on with a purpose she had had for some time in her mind. 

*' Wouldn't it be pleasant, while you are lying there and can 
do nothing, — wouldn't you like to have me read something to 
you, Mr. Van Brunt? /should like to, very much." 

"It's just like you," said he gratefully, — "to think of 
that ; but I wouldn't have you be bothered with it." 

** It wouldn't indeed. 1 should like it very much." 

" W^ell, if you've a mind," said he ; — " I can't say but it 
would be a kind o' comfort to keep that grain out o' my head 
a while. Seems to me I have cut and housed it all three 
times over already. Read just whatever you have a mind 
to. If you was to go over a last year's almanac, it would be 
as good as a fiddle to me." 

" I'll do better for you than that, Mr. Van Brunt," said 
Ellen, laughing in high glee at having gained her point. — 
She had secretly brought her Pilgrim's Progress with her, and 
now with marvelous satisfaction drew it forth. 

" I ha'n't been as much of a reader as I had ought to," 
said Mr. Van Brunt, as she opened the book and turned to 
the first page ; — " but however, I understand my business 
pretty well ; and a man can't be everything to once. Now 
'et's hear what you've got there." 

With a throbbing heart, Ellen began ; and read, notes and 
all, till the sound of tramping hoofs and Alice's voice made 



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her break off. It encouraged and delighted her to see that 
Mr. Van Brunt's attention was perfectly fixed. He lay still, 
without moving his eyes from her face, till she stopped ; then 
thanking her he declared that was a "first-rate book," and he 
*' should like mainly to hear the hull on it." 

From that time Ellen was diligent in her attendance on 
him. That she might have more time for reading than the 
old plan gave her, she set off by herself alone some time 
before the others, of course riding home with them. It cost 
her a little sometimes, to forego so much of their company ; 
but she never saw the look of grateful pleasure with which 
she was welcomed without ceasing to regret her self-denial. 
How Ellen blessed those notes as she went on with her read- 
ing ! They said exactly what she wanted Mr. Van Brunt to 
hear> and in the best way, and were too short and simple to 
interrupt the interest of the story. After a while she ventured 
to ask if she might read him a chapter in the Bible. He agreed 
very readily ; owning " he hadn't ought to be so k«g without 
reading one as he had been." Ellen then made it a rule 
to herself, without asking any more questions, to end every 
reading with a chapter in the Bible ; and she carefully sought 
out those that might be most likely to take hold of his judg- 
ment or feelings. They took hold of her own very deeply, 
by the means ; what was strong, or tender, before, now 
seemed to her too mighty to be withstood ; and Ellen read 
not only with her hps but with her whole heart the precious 
words, longing that they might come with their just effect 
upon Mr. Van Brunt's mind. 

Once as she finished reading the tenth chapter of John, a 
favorite chapter, which between her own feeling of it and her 
strong wish for him had moved her even to tears, she cast a 
glance at his face to see how he took it. His head was a 
little turned to one side, and his eyes closed ; she thought 
he was asleep. Ellen was very much disappointed. She 
sank her head upon her book and prayed that a time might 
come when he would know the worth of those words. The 
touch of his hand startled her. 

" What is the matter ?" said he. " Are you tired ?" 

" No," said Ellen looking hastily up ; — " no ! I'm not 
tired." 



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" But what ails you ?" said the astonished Mr. Van Bnint; 
** wliat have you been a crying for ? what's the mat- 
ter?" 

" Oh never mind," said Ellen, brushing her hand over her 
eyes, — " it's no matter." 

"Yes, but I want to know," said Mr. Van Brunt; — 
" you shan't have anything to vex you that / can help ; 
what is it ?" 

" It is nothing, Mr. Van Brunt," said Ellen, bursting into 
tears again, — " only I thought you were asleep — I — I 
thought you didn't care enough about the Bible to keep 
awake — 1 want so much that you should be a Christian ! 

He half groaned and turned his head away. 

" What makes you wish that so much ?" said he after a 
minute or two. 

" Because I want you to be happj^" said Ellen, — " and I 
know you can't without." 

" Well, I am pretty tolerable happy," said he ; — " as happy 
as most folks 1 guess." 

" But I want you to be happy when you die, too," said 
Ellen ; — " I want to meet you in heaven." 

" 1 hope I will go there, surely," said he gravely, — " when 
the time comes." 

Ellen was uneasily silent, not knowing what to say. 

" I aint as good as I ought to be," said he presently, 
with a half sigh ; — " I aint good enough to go to heaven — I 
wish I was. Yon are, I do beheve." 

" I ! O no, Mr. Van Brunt, do not say that ; — 1 am not 
good at all — I am full of wrong things." 

" Well I wish I was full of wrong things too, in the same 
way," said he. 

" But I am," said Ellen, — " whether you will believe it or 
not. Nobody is good, Mr. Van Brunt. But Jesus Christ 
has died for us, — and if we ask him he will forgive us, and 
wash away our sins, and teach us to love him, and make us 
good, and take us to be with him in heaven. I wish you 
would ask him !" she repeated with an earnestness that went 
to his heart. *' I don't believe any one can be very happy 
that doesn't love him." 

" Is that what makes you happy ?" said he. 



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143 



" I have a great many things to make me happy," said 
Ellen soberly, — " but that is the greatest of all. It always 
makes me happy to think of him, and it makes everything 
else a thousand times pleasanter. I wish you knew how it 
is, Mr. Van Brunt." 

He was silent for a little, and disturbed Ellen thought. 

" Well !" said he at leno-th, — " 'taint the folks that thinks 
themselves the best that is the best always ; — if you aint 
good I should like to know what goodness is. There's 
somebody that thinks you be," said he a minute or two af- 
terwards, as the horses were heard coming to the gate. 

" No, she knows me better than that," said Ellen. 

" It isn't any she that I mean," said ISlr. Van Brunt. — 
** There's somebody else out there, aint there ?" 

" Who ?" said Ellen, — " Mr. John ? — O no indeed he 
don't. It was only this morning he was telling me of some- 
thing I did that was wrong. — Her eyes watered as she spoke. 

" He must have miglity sharp eyes, then," said Mr. Van 
Brunt, — *' for it beats all m^/ powers of seeing things." 

** And so he has," said Ellen, putting on her bonnet, — " he 
always knows what I am thinking of just as well as if I told 
him. Good bye !" 

" Good bye," said he ; — " I ha'n't forgotten w^hat you've 
been saying, and I don't mean to." 

How full of sweet pleasure was the ride home ! 

The " something wrong," of which Ellen had spoken, was 
this. The day before, it happened that Mr. John had broken 
her off from a very engaging book to take her drawing-lesson ; 
and as he stooped down to give a touch or two to the piece 
she was to copy, he said, I don't want you to read any 
more of that Ellie ; it is not a good book for you." Ellen did 
not for a moment question that he was right, nor wish to dis- 
obey ; but she had become very much interested, and was a 
good deal annoyed at having such a sudden stop put to her 
pleasure. She said nothing, and went on with her work. In 
a little while Alice asked her to hold a skein of cotton for her 
while she wound it. Ellen was annoyed again at the inter- 
ruption ; the. harpstrings were jarring yet, and gave fresh 
discord at every touch. She had, however, no mind to let 
her vexation be seen ; she went immediately and held the 
«otton, and as soon as it was done sat down again to her 



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drawing. Before ten minutes had passed Margery came to 
set the table for dinner; Ellen's papers and desk must 
move. 

*' Why it is not dinner-time yet tliis great while, Margery," 
said she ; — " it isn't much after twelve." 

" No, Miss Ellen," said Margery under her breath, for John 
was in one corner of the room reading, — " but by-and-by I'll 
be busy with the chops and frying the salsify, and I couldn't 
leave the kitchen ; — if you'll let me have the table now." 

Ellen said no more, and moved her things to a stand before 
the window ; where she went on with her copying till dinner 
was ready. Whatever the reason was, however, her pencil 
did not work smoothly ; her eye did not see true ; and she 
lacked her usual steady patience. The next morning, after 
an hour and more's work and much painstaking, the drawing 
was finished. Ellen had quite forgotten her yesterday's trou- 
ble. But when John came to review her drawing, he found 
several faults with it ; pointed out two or three places in 
which it had suffered from haste and want of care ; and asked 
her how it had happened. Ellen knew it happened yesterday. 
She was vexed ao:ain, thouoh she did her best not to show it ; 
she stood quietly and heard what he had to say. He then 
told her to get ready for her riding lesson. 

" Mayn't I just make this right first?" said Ellen; — "it 
won't take me long." 

" No," said he, — " you have been sitting long enough ; I 
must break you oflf. The Brownie will be here in ten 
minutes." 

Ellen was impatiently eager to mend the bad places in her 
drawing, and impatiently displeased at being obliged to ride 
first. Slowly and reluctantly she went to get ready ; John 
was already gone ; she would not have moved so leisurely if 
he had been anywhere within seeing distance. As it was, 
she found it convenient to quicken her movements ; and was 
at the door ready as soon as he and the Brownie. She was 
soon thoroughly engaged in the management of herself and 
her horse ; a little smart riding shook all the ill-humor out of 
her, and she was entirely herself again. Atthe.end of fifteen 
or twenty minutes they drew up under the shade of a tree to 
lot the Brownie rest a little. It was a warm day and John 
had taken off his hat and stood resting too, with his arm 



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145 



leaning on the neck of the horse. Presently he looked round 
to Ellen, and asked her, with a smile, if she felt right 
again ? 

" Why ?" said Ellen, the crimson of her cheeks mounting 
to her forehead. But her eye sunk immediately at the an- 
swering glance of his. He then in very few words set the 
matter before her, with such a happy mixture of pointedness 
and kindness, that while the reproof, coming from him, went 
to the quick, Ellen yet joined with it no thought of harshness 
or severity. She was completely subdued however ; the rest 
of the riding-lesson had to be given up ; and for an hour 
Ellen's tears could not be stayed. But it was, and John had 
meant it should be, a strong check given to her besetting sin. 
It had a long and lasting effect. 



VOL. II. 7 



CHAPTER XL, 



Speed, But tell me true, will 't b.e a match ? 

Laun. Ask my dog ; if he say, ay, it will ; if he say, no, it will ; if he shake his tail 
and say nothing, it will. — Two Gentle:(IKn of Verona. 

In due time Mr. Van Brunt was on his legs again, much 
to everybody's joy, and much to the advantage of fields, 
fences, and grain. Sam and Johnny found they must " spring 
to," as their leader said ; and Miss Fortune declared she was 
thankful she could draw a long breath again, for do what she 
would she couldn't be everywhere. Before this John and the 
Black Prince had departed, and Alice and Ellen were left alone 
again. 

" How long will it be, dear Alice," said Ellen, as they stood 
sorrowfully looking down the road by which he had gone, — 
** before he will be through that — before he will be able to 
leave Doncaster ?" 

" Next summer." 
And what will he do then ?" 

*' Then he ^vill be ordained." 

" Ordained ? — what is that ?" 

" He will be solemnly set apart for the work of the min- 
istry, and appointed to it by a number of clergymen." 
. " And then will he come and stay at home, Alice ?" 

" I don't know what then, dear Ellen," said Alice, sigh- 
ing ; — " he may for a little ; but papa wishes A^ery much- that 
before he is settled anywhere he should visit England and 
Scotland and see our friends there. Though I hardly think 
John will do it unless he sees some further reason for going. 
If he do not, he will probably soon be called somewhere — 
Mr. Marshman wants him to come to Randolph. I don't 
know how it will be." 

** Well !" said Ellen, with a kind of acquiescing sigh, — " at 
any rate now we must wait until next Christmas." 



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147 



The winter passed with httle to mark it except the usual 
visits to Ventnor ; which, however, by common consent AHco 
and Ellen had agreed should not be when John was at home. 
At all other times they were much prized and enjoyed. Every 
two or three months Mr. Marshman was sure to come for 
them, or Mr. Howard, or perhaps the carriage only with a 
letter ; and it was bargained for that Mr. Humphreys should 
follow to see them home. It was not always that Ellen 
could go, but the disappointments were seldom ; she too had 
become quite domesticated at Ventnor, and was sincerely 
loved by the whole family. Many as were the times she had 
been there, it had oddly happened that she had never met 
her old friend of the boat again ; but she was very much at- 
tached to old Mr. and Mrs. Marshman, and Mrs. Chauncey 
and her daughter ; the latter of whom reckoned all the rest 
of her young friends as nothing compared with Ellen Mont- 
gomery. Ellen, in her opinion, did everything better than 
anyone else of her age. 

" She has good teachers," said Mrs. Chauncey. 

" Yes indeed ! I should think she had. Alice, — I should 
think anybody would learn well with her ; — and Mr. John — I 
suppose he's as good, though I don't know so much about 
him ; but he must be a great deal better teacher than Mr. 
Sandford, mamma, for Ellen draws ten times as well as I do !" 

" Perhaps that is your fault and not Mr. Sandford's," said her 
mother, — " though 1 rather think you overrate the difference." 

" I am sure 1 take pains enough, if that's all," said the lit- 
tle girl ; — " what more can I do, mamma ? But Ellen is so 
pleasant about it always ; she never seems to think she does 
better than 1 ; and she is always ready to help me and take 
ever so much time to show me how to do things ; — she is so 
pleasant ; isn't she, mamma ? I know 1 have heard you say- 
she is very polite." 

" She is certainly that," said Mrs. Gillespie, — '* and there 
is a grace in her politeness that can only proceed from great 
natural delicacy and refinement of character ; — how she can 
have such manners, living and working in the way you say 
she does, I confess is beyond my comprehension." 

*' One would not readily forget the notion of good -breeding in 
the society of AUce and John Humphreys/' said Miss Sophia. 



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*< And Mr. Humphreys," said Mrs. Chauncey. 

" There is no society about him," said Miss Sophia ; — '* he 
don't say two dozen 'svords a day." 

" But she is not with them," said Mrs. Gillespie. 

" She is with them a great deal, aunt Matilda," said Ellen 
Chauncey, — " and they teach her everything, and she does 
learn ! 6he must be very clever ; don't you think she is, 
mamma? Mamma, she beats me entirely in speaking French, 
and she knows all about English history ; and arithmetic ! — 
and did you ever hear her sing, mamma ? ' 

" I do not beheve she beats you, as you call it, in generous 
estimation of others," said Mrs. Chauncey, smiling, and bend- 
ins; forward to kiss her dauohter ; — " but what is the reason 
Ellen is so much better read in history than you ?" 

" I don't know, mamma, unless — 1 wish I wasn't so fond of 
reading stories." 

" Ellen Montgomery is just as fond of them, I'll warrant," 
said Miss Sophia. 

" Yes, — 1 know she is fond of them ; but then Alice and 
Mr. John don't let her read them, except nuw and then 
one." 

I fancy she does it though when their backs are turned," 
said Mrs. Gillespie. 

" She ! 0, aunt Matilda ! she wouldn't do the least thing 
they don't like for the whole world. 1 know she never reads 
a story when she is here, unless it is my Sunday books, without 
asking Alice first." 

" She is a most extraordinary child !" said Mrs. Gillespie. 

" She is a (/ood child ! ' said Mrs. Chauncey. 

" Yes, mamma, and that is what I wanted to say ; — I do 
not think Ellen is so pohte because she is so much with Ahce 
and Mr. John, but because she is so sweet and good. I don't 
think she could help being pohte. 

" It is not that," said Mrs. Gillespie ; — " mere sweetness 
and goodness would never give so much elegance of manner. 
As far as 1 have seen, Ellen Montgomery is a ^pez/ec/Zy well- 
behaved child." 

" That she is," said Mrs. Chauncey ; — " but neither would 
any cultivation or example be sufficient for it without Ellen's 
thorough good principle and great sweetness of temper." 



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**Tliat's exactly what / think, mamma," said Ellen Chaun- 
cey. 

Ellen's sweetness of temper was not entirely born with 
her ; it was one of the blessed fruits of religion and discipline. 
Discipline had not done with it yet. When the winter came 
on, and the house-work grew less, and with renewed vigor 
she was bending herself to improvement in all sorts of ways, 
it unluckily came into Miss P'ortune's head that some of 
Ellen's spare time might be turned to account in a new line. 
With this lady, to propose and to do w^ere two things always 
very near together. The very next day Ellen was summoned 
to help her down stairs w^ith the big spinning-wheel. Most 
unsuspiciously, and with her accustomed pleasantness, Ellen 
did it. But when she w^as sent up again for the rolls of wool ; 
and Miss Fortune after setting up the wheel, put one of them 
into her hand and instructed her how to draw out and twist 
the thread of yarn, she saw all that was coming. She saw it 
with dismay. So much yarn as Miss Fortune might think it 
well she should spin, so much time must be taken daily from 
her beloved reading and writing drawing and studying ; her 
very heart sunk within her. She made no remonstrance, 
unless her disconsolate face miorht be thoucjht one ; she stood 
half a day at the big spinning-wheel, fretting secretly, while 
Miss Fortune went round with an inward chuckle visible in 
her . countenance, that in spite of herself increased Ellen's 
vexation And this was not the annoyance of a day ; she 
must expect it day after day through the whole winter. It 
was a grievous trial. Ellen cried for a great while when she 
got to her own room, and a long hard struggle was necessary 
before she could resolve to do her duty. "■ To be patient and 
quiet! — and spin nobody knows how much yarn — and my 
poor history and philosophy and drawing and French and 
reading!" — -Ellen cried very heartily. But she knew what 
she ought to do ; she prayed long, humbly, earnestly, that 
*' her little rushlight might shine bright ;" — and her aunt had 
no cause to complain of her. Sometimes, if overpressed, Ellen 
would ask Miss P'ortune to let her stop ; saying, as Alice had 
advised her, that she wished to have her do such and such 
things ; Miss Fortune never made any objection ; and the 
hours of spinning that wrought so many knots of yarn for 



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her aunt, wrouglit better things yet for the httle spinner : 
patience and gentleness grew with the practice of them ; this 
wearisome work was one of the many seemingly untoward 
things which in reality bring out good. The time Ellen did 
secure to herself was held the more precious and used the 
more carefully. After all it was a very profitable and plea- 
sant winter to her. 

John's visit came as usual at the holidays, and was enjoyed 
as usual ; only that every one seemed to Ellen more pleasant 
than the last. The sole other event that broke the quiet 
course of things, (beside the journeys to Ventnor) was the 
death of Mrs. Van Brunt. This happened very unexpectedly 
and after a short illness, not far from the end of January. 
Ellen was very sorry ; both for her own sake and Mr. Van 
Brunt's, who she was sure felt much, though according to 
his general custom he said nothing. Ellen felt for him none 
the less. She little thought what an important bearing this 
event would have upon her own future well-being. 

The winter passed and the spring came. One fine mild 
pleasant afternoon, early in May, Mr. Van Brunt came into 
the kitchen and asked Ellen if she wanted to go with him 
and see the sheep salted. Ellen was seated at the table 
with a large tin p m in her lap, and before her a huge heap 
of white beans wliich she was picking over for the Saturday's 
favorite dish of pork and beans. She looked up at him with 
a hopeless face. 

" 1 should like to go veiy much indeed, Mr. Van Brunt, 
but you see I can't. All these to do !" 

" Beans, eh ?" said he, putting one or two in his mouth. 
" Where's your aunt ?" 

Ellen pointed to the buttery. He immediately went to the 
door and rapped on it with his knuckles." 

" Here ma'am !" said he, — " can't you let this child go 
with me ? 1 want her along to help feed the sheep." 

To Ellen's astonishment her aunt called to her through the 
closed door to " go along and leave the beans till she came 
back." Joyfully Ellen obeyed. She turned her back upon the 
beans, careless of the big heap wliich would still be there to pick 
over when she returned ; and ran to get her bonnet. In all 
the time she had been in Thirlwall something had always 



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151 



prevented her seeing the slieep fed with salt, and she went 
eagerly out of the door with Mr. Van Brunt to a new plea- 
sure. 

They crossed two or three meadows back of the barn to 
a low rocky hill covered with trees. On the other side of 
this they came to a fine field of spring wheat. F ootsteps 
must not go over the young grain ; Ellen and Mr. Van Brunt 
coasted carefully round by the fence to another piece of rocky 
woodland that lay on the far side of the wheat-field. It was 
a veiy fine afternoon. The grass was green in the meadow ; 
the trees were beginning to show their leaves ; the air was 
soft and spring-like. In great glee Ellen danced along, 
luckily needing no entertainment from Mr, Van Brunt, who 
was devoted to his salt-pan. His natural taciturnity seemed 
greater than ever ; he amused himself all the Avay over the 
meadow with turaino^ over his salt and tastino- it, till Ellen 
laughingly told him she believed he was as fond of it as the 
sheep were ; and then he took to chucking little bits of it 
right and left, at anything he saw that was big enough to 
serve for a mark. Ellen stopped him again by laughing at 
his wastefulness ; and so they came to the wood. She left 
him then to do as he liked, while she ran hither and thither 
to search for flowers. It was slow getting through the wood. 
He was fain to stop and wait for her. 

" Aren't these lovely ?" said Ellen as she came up with 
her hands full of anemones, — " and look — there's the liverwort. 
I thought it must be out before now — the dear little thing ! — 
but I can't find any blood-root, Mr. Van Brunt." 

" I guess they're gone," said Mr. Van Brunt. 

" I suppose they must," said Ellen. " I am sorry; 1 like 
them so much. 1 believe I did get them earlier than this 
two years ago when I used to take so many walks Vr'ith you. 
Only think of my not having been to look for flowers before 
this spring." 

" It hadn't ought to ha' happened so, that's a fact," said 
Mr. Van Brunt. "I don't know how it has." 

" there are my yellow bells !" exclaimed Ellen ; — " O 
you beauties ! Aren't they, Mr. Van Brunt ?" 

" I won't say but what I think an ear of wheat's hand- 
s( mer," said he with his half smile. 

"Why Mr, Van Brunt! how can you? — but an ear of 



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THE WIDK, "WIDK WOULD. 



wheat's pretty too. — Mr. Van Brunt, what is that ? Do 
get me some of it, will you, please ? how beautiful ! — 
what is it ?" 

" That's black birch," said he ; — " 'tis kind o' handsome ; 
— stop, ril find you some oak blossoms directly. — There's 
some Solomon's seal — do you want some of that ?" 

Ellen sprang to it with exclamations of joy, and before she 
could rise from her stooping posture discovered some cowslips 
to be scrambled for. Wild columbine, the delicate corydalis, 
and more uvularias, which she called yellow bells, were ad- 
ded to her handful, till it grew a very elegant bunch indeed. 
Mr. Van Brunt looked complacently on, much as Ellen would 
at a kitten running round after its tail. 

"Now I won't keep you any longer, Mr. Van Brunt," 
said she, when her hands were as full as they could hold ; — ■ 

i have kept you a great while ; you are very good to wait 
for me.'' 

They took up their line of march again, and after crossing 
the last piece of rocky woodland came to an open hill-side, 
sloping genftly up, at the foot of w^hich were several large flat 
stones. 

*• But where are the sheep, Mr. Van Brunt ?" said Ellen. 

" I guess they aint fur," said he. " You keep quiet, 
*cause they don't know you; and they are mighty scary. 
Just stand still there by the fence. — Ca-nan ! ca-nan ! Ca- 
nan, nan, nan, nan, nan, nan, nan !" 

This w\as the sheep call, and raising bis voice Mr. Van 
Brunt made it sound abroad far over the hills. Again and 
again it sounded ; and then Ellen saw the white nose of a 
sheep at the edge of the woods on the top of the hilL On 
the call's sounding again the sheep set forward, and in a lonp 
train they came nmning along a narrow footpath down to- 
wards where Mr. Van Brunt was standing with his pan. The 
soft tramp of a multitude of light hoofs in another directioo 
turned Ellen's eyes that way, and there were two more sin- 
gle files of sheep running down the hill from different points 
in the woodland. The pretty things came scampering along 
seeming in a great hurry, till they got very near *. then the 
whole multitude came to a sudden halt, and looked very Avist,- 
fully and doubtfully indeed at Mr. Van Brunt and the s+r^inge 
little figure standing so still by the fence. They sc*^m'^f^ in 



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153 



great doubt, every sheep of them, whether Mr. Van Brunt 
were not a traitor, who had put on a friend's voice and lured 
them down there with some dark evil intent, which he 
was going to carry out by means of that same dangerous- 
looking stranger by the fence. Ellen almost expected to see 
tliem turn about and go as fast as they had come. But Mr. 
Van Brunt gently repeating his call, went quietly up to the 
nearest stone and began to scatter the salt upon it, full in 
their view. Doubt was at an end ; he had hung out the 
white flag ; they flocked down to the stones, no longer at all 
in fear of double-dealing, and crowded to get at the salt ; the 
rocks where it was strewn were covered with more sheep 
than Ellen would have thought it possible could stand upon 
them. They were like pieces of floating ice heaped up -with 
snow, or queen-cakes with an immoderately thick frosting. 
It was one scene of pushing and crowding ; those which had 
not had their share of the feast forcing themselves up to get 
at it, and shoving others off in consequence. Ellen was won- 
derfully pleased. It was a new and pretty sight, the busy 
hustling crowd of gentle creatures ; with the soft noise of 
their tread upon grass and stones, and the eager devouring of 
the salt. She was fixed with pleasure, looking and listening ; 
and did not move till the entertainment was over, and the 
body of the flock were carelessly scattering here and there, 
while a few that had perhaps been disappointed of their 
part still lingered upon the stones in the vain hope of yet 
licking a little saltness from them. 

"Well," said Ellen, "I never knew what salt was worth 
before. How they do love it ! Is it good for them, Mr. Van 
Brunt ?" 

" Good for them ?" said he, — " to be sure it is good for 
them. There aint a critter that walks, as I know, that it aint 
good for, — 'cept chickens, and it's very queer it kills them." 

They turned to go homeward. Ellen had taken the empty 
pan to lay her flowers in, thinking it Avould be better for them 
than the heat of her hand ; and greatly pleased with what she 
had come to see, and enjoying her walk as much as it w^as 
possible, she was going home very happy ; yet she could not 
help missing Mr. Van Brunt's old sociableness. He was un- 
commonly silent, even for him, considering that he and Ellen 



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were alone together ; aifd she wondered what liad possessed 
him with a desire to cut down all the young saphngs he came 
to that were large enough for walking sticks. He did not 
want to make any use of them, that Avas certain, for as fast 
as he cut and trimmed out one lie threw it away and cut ano- 
ther. Ellen was glad when they got out into the open fields 
where there were none to be found. 

" It is just about this time a year ago," said she, " that 
aunt Fortune was getting well of her long fit of sickness." 

" Yes !" said Mr. Van Brunt, with a very profound air ; — ■ 
"something is always happening most years." 

p]llen did not know what to make of this philosophical re- 
mark. 

" I am very glad nothing is happening this year," said 
she ; — " I think it is a great deal pleasanter to have things 
go on quietly." 

" something might happen without hindering things 
going on quietly, I s'pose, — miglitn't it ?" 

"I don't know," said Ellen wondeuingly ; — "why Mr. Yan 
Brunt what is going to happen ?" 

" I declare," said he half laughing, — " you're as cute as a 
razor; I didn't say there Avas anvthing going to happen, 
did I ?" 

" But is there ?" said Ellen. 

" Ha'n't your aunt said nothing to you about it ?" 
" Whv no," said Ellen, — " she never tells me anything ; 
what is It ?" 

"Why the story is," said Mr. Yan Brunt, — "at least I 
know, for I've understood as much from herself, that — I be- 
lieve she's going to be married before long." 

" She !" exclaimed Ellen. " Married ! — aunt Fortune !" 

" I believe so," said ]\Ir. Yan Brunt, making a lunge at a 
tuft of tall grass and pulling off two or three spears of it, 
which he carried to his mouth. 

There was a long silence, during which Ellen saw nothing 
m earth, air or sky, and knew no longer whether she was 
passing through woodland or meadow. To frame words into 
another sentence was past her power. They came in sight of 
the barn at length. She would not have much more time. 

" Will it be soon, Mr. Yan Bmnt ?" 



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155 



Why pretty soon, as soon as next week, I guess ; so 1 
thought it was time you ought to be told. Do you know to 
who?" 

" I don't know,"" said Ellen in a low voice ; — " I couldn't 
help guessing." 

*' 1 reckon you've guessed about right," said he, without 
looking at her. 

There was another silence, during which it seemed to Ellen 
tliat her thoughts were tumbling head over heels, they were 
in such confusion. 

" The short and the long of it is," said Mr. Van Brunt, as 
they rounded the corner of the barn, — " we have made up 
our minds to draw in the same yoke ; and we're both on us 
pretty go-ahead folks, so I guess we'll contrive to pull the 
cart along. 1 had just as lieve tell you, Ellen, that all this 
was as good as settled a long spell back, — 'afore ever you came 
to Thirlwall ; but I was never agoing to leave my old mother 
without a home ; so I stuck to her, and would, to the end of 
time, if I had never been married. But now she is gone, and 
there is nothing to keep me to the old place any longer. So 
now you know the hull on it, and I wanted you should." 

With this particularly cool statement of his matrimonial 
views, Mr, Van Brunt turned off into the barn-yard, leaving 
Ellen to go home by herself. She felt as if she were walking on 
air while she crossed the chip-yard, and the very house had a 
seeming of unreality. Mechanically she put her flowers in 
water, and sat down to finish the beans ; but the beans raio-ht 
have been flowers and the flowers beans for all the diff'erence 
Ellen saw in them. Miss Fortune and she shunned each 
other's faces most carefully for a long time ; Ellen felt it 
impossible to meet her eyes ; and it is a matter of great un- 
certainty which in fact did first look at the other. Other than 
this there was no manner of diff'erence in anything without or 
within the house. Mr. Van Brunt's being absolutely speech- 
less was not a very uncommon thing. 



CHAPTER XII. 



Poor little, pretty, fluttering thing, 

Must we no longer live together ? 
And dost thou prune thy trembling wing 

To take thy flight thou knowest not wh...ier 1 
Prior. 

As soon as she could Ellen carried this wonderful news to 
Alice, and eagerly poured out the whole story, her walk and 
all. She was somewhat disappointed at the calmness of her 
• hearer. 

But you don't seem half as surprised as T expected, AHce ; 
I thought you would be so much surprised." 
" I am not surprised at all, Ellie." 

" Not ! — aren't you ! — why did you know anything of this 
before ?" 

" I did not knoic, but I suspected. I thought it was very 
likely. I am very glad it is so." 

" Glad ! are you glad ? I am so sorry ; — why are you 
glad, Ahce?" 

" Why are you sorry, Ellie ?" 

" because ! — I don't know — it seems so queer ! — I don't 
like it at all. I am very sorry indeed," 

'* For your aunt's sake, or for Mr. Van Brunt's sake?" 
" What do 3'ou mean ?" 

" I mean, do you think he or she will be a loser by the 
bargain ?" 

" Why he, to be sure ; I think he will ; I don't think she 
will. I think he is a great deal too good. And besides — I 
wonder if he wants to really ; — it was settled so long ago — 
maybe he has changed his mind since." 

" Have you any reason to think so, Ellie ?" said Alice 
smiling. 

** I don't know — I don'* thmk he seemed particulary glad." 



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157 



" It will be safest to conclude that Mr. Van Brunt knows 
his own mind, my dear ; and it is certainly pleasantest for us 
to hope so." 

" But then, besides," said Ellen with a face of great per- 
plexity and vexation, — I don't know — it don't seem right ! 
Uow can I ever — must 1, do you think I shall have to call 
him anything but Mr. Van Brunt ?" 

Alice could not help smiling again. 

" What is your objection, Ellie ?" 

"Why because I cant! — I couldn't do it, somehow. It 
would seem so strange. Must I, Alice ? — Why in the world 
are you glad, dear Alice ?" 

" It smooths my way for a plan I have had in my head ; 
you will know by-and-by why I am glad, EUie." 

" Well I am glad if you are glad," said Ellen sighing ; — " I 
don't know why I was so sorry, but I couldn't help it ; I 
suppose I sha'n't mind it after a while." 

She sat for a few minutes, musing over the possibility or 
impossibility of ever forming her lips to the words " uncle 
Abraham," "uncle Van Brunt," or barely "uncle ;" her soul 
rebelled against all three. " Yet if he should think me un- 
kind. — then I must, — oh rather fifty times over than that !" 
Looking up, she saw a change in Ahce's countenance, and 
tenderly asked, 

" What is the matter, dear Alice ? what are you thinking 
about ?" 

" I am thinking, EUie, how I shall tell you something that 
will give you pain." 

" Pain ! you needn't be afraid of giving me pain," said 
Ellen fondly, throwing her arms around her ; — " tell me, dear 
Alice ; is it something I have done that is wrong ? what 
is it?" 

Alice kissed her, and burst into tears. 

" What is the matter, oh dear Alice !" said Ellen, encircling 
Alice's head with both her arms ; — " Oh don't cry ! do tell 
me what it is !"' 

" It is only sorrow for you, dear Ellie." 

" But why ?" said Ellen in some alarm ; — " why are you 
sorry for me ? I don't care, if it don't trouble you, indeed I 
don't ! Never mind me ; is it something that troubles you, 
dear Alice ?" 



158 



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" No — except for the effect it may have on others." 

"Then I can bear it," said Ellen; — "you need not be 
afraid to tell me dear Alice ; — what is it ? don't be sorry for 
me!" 

But the expression of Alice's face was such that she could 
not help being afraid to hear : she anxiously repeated " what 
is it ?" 

Alice fondly smoothed back the hair from her brow, looking 
herself somewhat anxiously and somewhat sadly upon the 
uplifted face. 

" Suppose Ellie," she said at length, — " that you and I 
were taking a journey together — a troublesome dangerous 
journey — and that / had a way of getting at once safe to the 
end of it ; — would you be willing to let me go, and you do 
without me for the rest of the way ?" 

" I would rather you should take me with you," said Ellen, 
in a kind of maze of wonder and fear ; — why where are you 
going, Alice ?" 

" 1 think I am going home, Ellie, — before you." 

" Home ?" said Ellen. 

" Yes, — home I feel it to be ; it is not a strange land ; 
I thank God it is my home I am going to." 
Ellen sat looking at her, stupified. 

" It is your home too, love, 1 trust, and believe," said Alice 
tenderly ; — " we shall be together at last. I am not sorry 
for myself ; I only grieve to leave you alone, — and others, — 
but God knows best. We must both look to him." 

" Why Alice," said Ellen starting up suddenly, — what do 
you mean? what do you mean? — 1 don't understand you — 
what do you mean ?" 

" Do you not understand me, Ellie ?" 

" But Alice ! — but Alice — dear Alice — what makes you 
say so ? is there anything the matter with you ? 

"Do I look well, Ellie?" 

With an eye sharpened to painful keenness, Ellen sought 
in Ahce's face for the tokens of what she wished and what 
she feared. It had once or twice lately flitted through her 
mind that Alice was very thin, and seemed to want her old 
strength, whether in riding, or walking, or any other exertion ; 
and it had struck her that the bright spots of color in Alice's 
face were just like what her mother's cheeks used to wear in 



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159 



her last illness. These thoughts had just come and gone ; 
but now as she recalled them and was forced to acknowledge 
the justness of them, and her review of Ahce's face pressed 
them home anew, — hope for a moment faded. She grew 
white, even to her lips. 

" My poor Ellie ! my poor Ellie !" said Alice, pressing her 
little sister to her bosom, — " it must be ! We must say ' the 
Lord's will be done — we must not forget he does all things 
well." 

But Ellen rallied ; she raised her head again ; she could 
not believe what Alice had told her. To her mind it 
seemed an evil too great to happen ; it could not be ! Alice 
saw this in her look, and again sadly stroked the hair from 
her brow. " It must be, Ellie, she repeated." 

" But have you seen somebody ? — have you asked some- 
body ?" said Ellen ; — " some doctor ?" 

I have seen, and I have asked," said Alice ; — " it was 
not necessary, but T have done both. They think as I do." 

" But these Thirlwall doctors" — 

" Not them ; I did not apply to them. I saw an excel- 
lent physician at Randolph, the last time I went to Ventnor." 

" And he said — " 

" As I have told you." 

Ellen's countenance fell — fell. 
It is easier for me to leave you than for you to be 
left, — I know that, my dear little Ellie ! You have no rea- 
son to be sorry for me — I am sorry for you ; but the hand 
that is taking me away is one that will touch neither of us 
but to do us good ; — I know that too. We must both look 
away to our dear Saviour, and not for a moment doubt his 
love. I do not — you must not. Is it not said that ' he loved 
Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus ? ' " 

Yes," said Ellen, who never stirred her eyes from 
Alice's. 

*' And might he not — did it not rest with a word of his lips, 
to keep Lazarus from dying, and save his sisters from all the 
bitter sorrow his death caused them ?" 

Again Ellen said " yes," or her lips seemed to say it. 

" And yet there were reasons, good reasons, why he should 
not, little as poor Martha and Mary could understand it. — 



160 



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But had he at all ceased to love them when he bade all that 
trouble come ? Do you remember, Ellie — oh how beautiful 
those words are ! — when at last he arrived near the place, and 
first one sister came to him with the touching reminder that 
he might have saved them from this, and then the other, — 
weeping and faUing at his feet, and repeating, * Lord if thou 
hadst been here I' — when he saw their tears, and more, saw 
the torn hearts that tears could not ease, — he even wept with 
them too! Oh I thank God for those words! He saw rea- 
son to strike, and his hand did not spare ; but his love shed 
tears for them ! and he is just the same now." 

Some drops fell from Alice's eyes, not sorrowful ones ; 
Ellen had hid her face. 

" Let ns never doubt his love, dear Ellie, and surely then 
we can bear whatever that love may bring upon us, I do 
trust it. I do believe it shall be well with them that fear 
God. I believe it will be well for me when I die, — well for 
you my dear, dear Ellie, — well even for my father" — 

She did not finish the sentence, afraid to trust herself. — 
But oh, Eljen knew what it would have been ; and it sud- 
denly startled into life all the load of grief that had been set- 
tling' heavily on her heart. Her thouglits had not looked 
that way before ; — now when they did, this new vision of 
misery was too much to bear. Quite unable to contain her- 
self, and unwilling to pain Alice more than she could help, 
with a smothered burst of feeling she sprang away, out of 
the door, into the woods, where she would be unseen and 
unheard. 

And there in the first burst of her agony, Ellen almost 
thought she should die. Her grief had not now indeed the 
goading sting of impatience ; she knew the hand that gave 
the blow, and did not raise her own against it ; she believed 
too what Alice had been saying, and the sense of it was, in a 
manner, present with her in her darkest time. But her 
spirit died within her ; she bowed her head as if she were 
never to lift it up again ; and she was ready to say with 
Job, '* what good is my life to me ?" 

It was long, very long after, when slowly and mournfully 
she came in again to kiss Alice before going back lo her 
aunt's. She would have done i-. hurriedly and turned away ; 



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161 



but Alice held her and looked sadly for a minute into the 
wo-begone little face, then clasped her close and kissed her 
again and again. 

"Oh Ahce," sobbed Ellen on her neck, — "aren't you mis- 
taken ? maybe you are mistaken ?" 

" I am not mistaken, my dear Ellie, my own Ellie," said 
Alice's clear sweet voice ; — " not sorry, except for others. I 
will talk with you more about this. You will be sorry for 
me at first, and then, I hope, you will be glad. It is only 
that I am going home a little before you. Remember what 
I was saying to you a while ago. Will you tell Mr. Van 
Brunt I should like to see him for a few minutes some time 
when he has leisure ? — And come to me early to-morrow, 
love." 

Ellen could hardly get home. Her blinded eyes could 
not see where she was stepping ; and again and again her 
fullness of heart got the better of everything else, and un- 
mindful of the growing twilight she sat down on a stone by 
the Avayside or flung herself on the ground to let sorrows 
have full sway. In one of these fits of bitter struggling with 
pain, there came on her mind, like a sunbeam across a cloud, 
the thought of Jesus weeping at the grave of Lazarus. It 
came with singular power. Did he love them so well? 
thought Ellen — and is he looking down upon us with the same 
tenderness even now ? — She felt that the sun was shining still, 
though the cloud might be between ; her broken heart crept 
to His feet and laid its burden there, and after a few min- 
utes she rose up and went on her wa}^, keeping that thought 
still close to her heart. The unspeakable tears that Avere 
shed during those few minutes were that softened out-pour- 
ing of the heart that leaves it eased. Very, very sorrowful 
as she was, she went on calmly now and stopped no 
more. 

It was getting dark, and a little w^ay from the gate, on 
the road, she met Mr. Van Brunt. 

*' Why I was beginning to get scared about you," said he. 
" I was coming to see where vou was. How come you so 
late ?" 

Ellen made no answer, and as she now came nearer and he 
could see more distinctly, his tone chano-ed. 



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"What's the matter ?" said he, — "you ha'n't been well! 
what has happened ? what ails you, Ellen ?" 

In astonishment, and then in alarm, he saw that she was 
unable to speak, and anxiously and kindly begged her to let 
him know what was the matter, and if he could do anything. 
Ellen shook her head. 

" x\int Miss Alice well ?" said he ; — " you ha'n't heerd no 
bad news up there on the hill, have you ?'' 

Ellen was not willing to answer this question with yea or 
nay. She recovered herself enough to give him Alice's mes- 
sage. 

" I'll be sure and go," said he, — " but you ha'n't told me 
j'et what's the matter ! Has anything happened ?" 

" No," said Ellen; — " don't ask me — she'll tell you — don't 
ask me." 

" I guess I'll go up the first thing in the morning then," 
said he, — " before breakfast." 

" No," said Ellen, — " better not — perhaps she wouldn't be 
up so early." 

" After breakfast then, — I'll go up right after breakfast. 
I Avas agoing with the boys up into that 'ere wheat lot, but 
anyhow I'll do that first. They won't have a chance to do 
much bad or good before I get back to them, I reckon." 

xVs soon as possible she made her escape from Miss 
Fortune's eye and questions of curiosity which she could not 
bear to answer, and got to her own room. There the first 
thing she did was to find the eleventh chapter of John. She 
read it as she never had read it before, — she found in it what 
she had never found before; one of those cordials that none 
but the sorrowing drink. On the love of Christ, as there 
shown, little Ellen's heart fastened ; and with that one 
sweetening thought amid all its deep sadness, her sleep that 
night might have been envied by many a luxurious roller in 
pleasure. 

At Alice's wish she immediately took up her quarters at 
the parsonage, to leave her no more. But she could not see 
much difference in her from what she had been for several 
weeks past ; and with the natural hopefulness of childhood, 
her mind presently almost refused to believe the extremity 
of the evil which had been threatened. Alice herself was 



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163 



constantly cheerful, and sought by all means to further 
Ellen's cheerfulness ; though careful at the same time, to 
forbid, as far she could, the rising of the hope she saw Ellen 
was inclined to cherish. 

One evening they were sitting together at the window, 
looking out upon the same old lawn and distant landscape, 
now in all the fresh greenness of the young spring. The 
woods were not yet in full leaf; and the light of the setting 
sun upon the trees bordering the other side of the lawn 
showed them in the most exquisite and varied shades of color. 
Some had the tender green of the new leaf, some were in the 
red or yellow browns of the half-opened bud ; others in 
various stao^es of forwardness mixinfj all the tints between, 
and the evergreens standing dark as ever, setting off the deli- 
cate hues of the surrounding foliage. This was all softened 
off in the distance ; the very light of the spring was mild 
and tender compared with that of other seasons ; and the 
air that stole round the corner of the house and came in at 
the open window was laden with aromatic fragrance. Alice 
and Ellen had been for some time silently breathing it and 
gazing thoughtfully on the loveliness that was abroad. 

" I used to think," said Alice, — " that it must be a very 
hard thing to leave such a beautiful world. Did you ever 
think so, Ellie ?" 

" I don't know," said Ellen faintly, — " I don't remember." 

" I used to think so," said Alice. " But I do not now, 
Ellie ; my feeling has changed. — Do you feel so now, Ellie?" 

" Oh why do you talk about it, dear Alice ?" 

" For many reasons^ dear Ellie. Come here and sit in my 
lap again." 

** 1 am afraid you cannot bear it." 

" Yes I can. Sit here, and let your head rest where it 
used to ;" — and Alice laid her cheek upon Ellen's forehead ; 
— " you are a great comfort to me, dear Ellie." 

" Oh Alice, don't say so — you'll kill me !" exclaimed 
Ellen in great distress. 

" Why should I not say so, love ?" said Alice soothingly. 
" I like to say it, and you will be glad to know it by-and-by. 
You are a great comfort to me." 

" And what have you been to me !" said Ellen, weeping 
bitterly. 



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** What I cannot be much longer; and I want to accustom 
you to think of it, and to think of it rightly. I want you to 
know that if I am sorry at all in the thought, it is for the 
sake of others, not myself. Ellie, you yourself will be glad 
for me in a little while ; — you will not wish me back." 

Ellen shook her head. 

" I know you will not — after a while ; — and I shall leave 
you in good hands — I have arranged for that, my dear little 
sister !" 

The sorrowing child neither knew nor cared what she 
meant, but a mute caress answered the spirit of Alice's 
words. 

Look up Ellie, — look out again. Lovely — lovely ! all 
that is, — but I know heaven is a great deal more lovely. 
Feasted as our eyes are Avith beauty, I believe that eye has 
not seen, nor heart imagined the things that God has pre- 
pared for them that love him. You believe that, Ellie ; you 
must not be so very sorry that I have gone to see it a little 
before you." 

Ellen could say nothing. 

" After all, Ellie, it is not beautiful things nor a beautiful 
world that make people happy — it is loving and being loved ; 
and that is the reason why 1 am happy in the thought of 
heaven. 1 shall, if he receives me, I shall be with my 
Saviour ; I shall see him and know him, without any of the 
clouds tliat come between here. I am often forgetting and 
displeasing him now, — never serving him well nor loving him 
right. I shall be glad to find myself where all that Avill be 
done with for ever. I shall be like him ! — Why do you cry 
so, Ellie?" said Ahce tenderly. 

" I can't help it, Ahce." 

" It is only my love for you — and for two more — that 
could make me wish to stay here, — nothing else ; — and I give 
all that up, because I do not know what is best for you or 
myself. And I look to meet you all again before long. Try 
to think of it as 1 do, Ellie." 

"■ But what shall I do without you ?" said poor Ellen. 

" I will tell you Ellie. You must come here and take m} 
place, and take care of those I leave behind ; will you? — and 
they will take care of you." 

" But," — said Ellen looking up eagerly, — " aunt Fortune" — 



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165 



" I have managed all that. Will you do it, Ellen ? I shall 
feel easy and happy about you, and far easier and happier 
about my father, if I leave you established here, to be to him 
as far as you can, what I have been. Will you promise me, 
Ellie?" 

In words it was not possible ; but what silent kisses, and 
the close pressure of the arms round Alice's neck could say, 
was said. 

" I am satisfied, then/' said Alice presently. " My father 
will be your father — think him so, dear Ellie, — and I know 
John will take care of you. And my place will not be empty. 
I am very, very glad." 

Ellen felt her place surely would be empty, but she could 
not say so. 

" It was for this I was so glad of your aunt's marriage, 
Ellie," Ahce soon went on. " 1 foresaw she might raise some 
difficulties in my way, — hard to remove perhaps ; — but now I 
have seen Mr. Van Brunt, and he has promised me that nothing 
shall hinder your taking up your abode and making your 
home entirely here. Though 1 believe, Ellie, he would truly 
have loved to have you in his own house " 

1 am sure he would," said Ellen, — " but oh how much 
rather "~ 

" He behaved very well about it the other morning, — in a 
very manly, frank, kind way, — showed a good deal of feeling 
1 think, too. He gave me to understand that for his own 
sake he should be extremely sorry to let you go ; but he as- 
sured me that nothing over which he had any control should 
stand in the way of your good." 

" He is verij kind — he is very good — he is always so," said 
Ellen. " I love Mr. Van Brunt very much. He always was 
as kind to me as he could be." 

They were silent for a few minutes, and Alice was looking 
out of the window again. The sun had set, and the coloring 
of all without was graver. Yet it was but the change from 
one beauty to another. The sweet air seemed still sweeter 
than before the sun went down. 

" You must be happy, dear Ellie, in knowing that I am. I 
am happy now. I enjoy all this, and I love you all, — but 1 can 
leave it and can leave you, — yes, both, — for I would see 
Jesus! He who has taught me to love him will not forsake 



166 



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me now. Goodness and mercy have followed me all the days 
of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 
I thank him ! 1 thank him !" 

Alice's face did not belie her words, though her eyes shone 
through tears. 

Ellie, dear, — you must love him with all your heart, and 
live constantly in his presence, I know if you do he will 
make you happy, in any event. He can always give more 
than he takes away. how good he is ! — and what wretch- 
ed returns we make him ! — I was miserable when John first 
went away to Doncaster ; 1 did not know how to bear it. 
But now, Ellie, I think I can see it has done me good, and I 
can even be thankful for it. All things are ours — all things ; 
— the world, and life, and death too." 

*' Alice," said Ellen, as well as she could, — you know 
what you were saying to me the other day ?" 

" About what, love ?" 

" That about — you know, — that chapter" — 

*' About the death of Lazarus ?" 

*' Yes. It has comforted me very much." 

" So it has me, Ellie. It has been exceeding sweet to 
me at different times. Come sing to me, — * How firm a foun- 
dation.' " 

From time to time Ahce led to this kind of conversation, 
both for Ellen's sake and her own pleasure. Meanwhile she 
made her go on with all her usual studies and duties ; and 
but for these talks Ellen would have scarce known how to 
believe that it could be true which she feared. 

The wedding of Miss Fortune and Mr. Van Brunt was a 
very quiet one. It happened at far too busy a time of year, 
and they were too cool calculators, and looked upon their 
union in much too business-like a point of view, to dream of 
such a wild thing as a wedding-tour, or even resolve upon so 
troublesome a thing as a wedding-party. Miss Fortune 
would not have left her cheese and butter-making to see all 
the New Yorks and Bostons that ever were built ; and she 
would have scorned a trip to Randolph. And Mr. Van 
Brunt would as certainly have wished himself all the while 
back among his furrows and crops. So one day they were 
quietly married at home, the Rev. Mr. Clark having been 
fetched from Thirl wall for the purpose. Mr. Van Brunt 



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167 



would have preferred that Mr. Humphreys should perform 
the ceremony ; but Miss Fortune was quite decided in favor 
of the Thirlwall gentleman, and of course he it was. 

The talk ran high all over the country on the subject of 
this marriage, and opinions were greatly divided ; some con- 
gratulating Mr. Van Brunt on having made himself one of the 
richest land-holders in town" by the junction of ano- 
ther fat farm to his own ; some pitying him for having got 
more than his match wiihin doors, and " guessing he'd miss- 
ed his reckoning for once." 

If he has, then," said Sam Larkens, who heard some of 
these condoling remarks, — " it's the first time in his life, I can 
tell you. If she aint a little mistaken, I wish I mayn't get a 
month's wages in a year to come. I tell you, you don't know 
Van Brunt ; he's as easy as anybody as long as he don't care 
about what you're doing ; but if he once takes a notion you 
can't make him gee nor haw no more than you can our near 
ox Timothy when he's out o' yoke ; and he's as ugly a beast 
to manage as ever 1 see when he aint yoked up. Why bless 
you ! there ha'n't been a thing done on the farm this five year 
but just what he liked — she don't know it. I've heerd her," 
said Sam chuckling, — " I've heerd her atelling him how she 
wanted this thing done, and t'other, and he'd just not say a 
word and go and do it right t'other way. It'll be a wonder 
if somebody aint considerably startled in her calculations afore 
Bummer's out." 



CHAPTER XLII. 



" She enjoys sure peace for evermore, 
As weather-beaten ship arrived on happy shore." 

Spknser. 

It was impossible at first to make Mr. Humphreys believe 
that Alice was right in her notion about her health. The 
greatness of the evil was such that his mind refused to receive 
it, much as Ellen's had done. His unbelief however lasted 
longer than hers. Constantly with Alice as she was, and talk- 
ing to her on the subject, Ellen slowly gave up the hope she 
had clung to ; though still, bending all her energies to the 
present pleasure and comfort of her adopted sister, her mind 
shrank from looking at the end. Daily and hourly, in every 
way, she strove to be what Alice said she was, a comfort to 
her, and she succeeded. Daily and hourly Alice's look and 
smile and manner said the same thing over and over. It was 
Ellen's precious reward, and in seeking to earn it she half the 
time earned another in forgetting herself. It was different 
with Mr. Humphreys. He saw much less of his daughter ; 
and when he was with her, it was impossible for Alice, with 
all her efforts, to speak to him as freely and plainly as she was 
in the habit of speaking to Ellen. The consequences were such 
as grieved her, but could not be helped. 

As soon as it was known that her health was failing, Sophia 
Marshman came and took up her abode at the parsonage. 
Ellen was almost sorry ; it broke up in a measure the sweet 
and peaceful way of life she and Alice had held together ever 
since her own coming. Miss Sophia could not make a third 
in their conversations. But as Alice's strength grew less and 
she needed more attendance and help, it was plain her friend's 
being there was a happy thing for both Alice and Ellen. Miss 
Sophia was active, cheerful, untiring in her affectionate care, 
always pleasant in manner and temper ; a very useful person 



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169 



in a house where one was ailing. Mrs. Yawse was often there 
too, and to her Ellen clung, whenever she came, as to a pillar 
of strength. Miss Sophia could do nothing to help her ; Mrs. 
Vawse could, a great deal. 

Alice had refused to write or allow others to write to her 
brother. She said he was just finishing his course of study 
at Doncaster ; she would not have him disturbed or broken 
off by bad news from home. In August he would be quite 
throuo;h ; the first of August he would be home. 

Before the middle of June, however, her health began to 
fail much more rapidly than she had counted upon. It became 
too likely that if she waited for his regular return at the first 
of August she would see but little of her brother. She at 
last reluctantly consented that Mrs. Chauncey should write 
to him ; and from that moment counted the days. 

Her father had scarcely till now given up his old confi- 
dence respecting her. He came into her room one morning 
when just about to set out for Carra-carra to visit one or two 
of his poor parishioners. 

" How are you to-day, my daughter ?" he asked tenderly. 

*' Easy, papa, — and happy," said Alice. 

" You are looking better," said he. " We shall have you 
well again among us yet." 

There was some sorrow for him in Alice's smile, as she 
looked up at him and answered, "Yes, papa, — in the land 
where the inhabitant shall no more say * 1 am sick.' " 

He kissed her hastily and went out. 

" I almost wish I was in your place, Alice," said Miss 
Sophia. I hope I may be half as happy when my time 
comes." 

" What right have you to hope so, Sophia ?" said Alice, 
rather sadly. 

" To be sure," said the other, after a pause, " you have 
been ten times as good as 1. 1 don't wonder you feel easy 
when you look back and think how blameless your life has 
been."' 

" Sophia, Sophia !" said Alice, — " you know it is not that. I 
never did a good thing in my life that was not mixed and 
spoiled with evil. I never came up to the full measure of 
duty in any matter." 
VOL. II. 8 



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" But surely," said Miss Sophica, — ''if one does tlic best 
one can, it will be accepted?" 

'* It won't do to trust to that, Sophia. God's law requires per- 
fection ; and nothing less than perfection will be received as 
payment of its demand. If you owe a hundred dollars, and 
your creditor will not hold you quit for anything less than the 
whole sum, it is of no manner of signification whether you offer 
him ten or twenty." 

" Why according to that," said Miss Sophia, " it makes no 
difference what kind of life one leads." 

Alice sighed and shook her head. 

" The fruit shows what the tree is. Love to God will strive 
to please him — always." 

" And is it of no use to strive to please him ?" 

" Of no manner of use, if you make that your trusts 

" Well I don't see what one is to trust to," said Miss 
Sophia, — " if it isn't a good hfe." 

*' I will answer you," said Alice, with a smile in which there 
was no sorrow, — " in some words that I love very much, of an 
old Scotchman, I think ; — ' I have taken all my good deeds 
and all my bad, and have cast them together in a heap before 
the Lord ; and from them all I have fled to Jesus Christ, and 
in him alone I have sweet peace.' " 

Sophia was silenced for a minute by her look. 

*' Well," said she, " I don't understand it ; that is what 
George is always talking about ; but I can't understand 
him." 

" I am vei-y sorry you cannot," said Alice gravely. 

They were both silent for a little while. 

" If all Christians were like you," said Miss Sophia, " I 
might think more about it ; but they are such a dull set ; 
there seems to be no life nor pleasure among them." 

Alice thought of the lines, — 

Their pleasures rise to things unseen, 

Beyond the bounds of time ; 
Where neither eyes nor ears have been, 

Nor thoughts of morials climb. 

" You judge," said she, " like the rest of the world, of 
that which they see not. After all, they know best wheth- 
er they are happy. What do you think of Mrs. Vawse?" 

" I don't know what to think of her ; she is wonderful 



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to me ; she is past my comprehension entirely. Don't make 
her an example." 

" No, religion has done that for me. What do you think 
of your brother ?" 

"George? — He\s happy, — there is no doubt of that ; he 
is the happiest person in the family, by all odds ; but then — 
I think he has a natural knack at being happy ; — it is im- 
possible for anything to put him out." 

Alice smiled and shook her head again. 
Sophistry, Sophia. What do you think of me ?" 

" I don't see what reason you have to be anything but 
happy." 

" What have I to make me so ?" 

Sophia was silent. Alice laid her thin hand upon hers. 

•* I am leaving all I love in this world. Should I be hap- 
py if I were not going to somewhat I love better ? Should 
I be happy if I had no secure prospect of meeting with them 
again ? — or if I were doubtful of my reception in that place 
whither I hope to go ?" 

Sophia burst into tears. " Well I don't know," said she ; 
*' I suppose you are right ; but I don't understand it." 

Alice drew her face down to hers and whispered some- 
thing in her ear. 

Undoubtedly Ahcehad much around as well as within her 
to make a declining life happy. Mrs. Vawse and Miss 
Marshman were two friends and nurses not to be surpassed, 
in their different ways. Margery's motherly affection, her 
zeal, and her skill, left nothing for heart to wish in her line 
of duty. And all that affection, taste, and kindness, with 
abundant means, could supply was at Ahce's command. Still 
her greatest comfort was Ellen. Her constant thoughtful 
care ; the thousand tender attentions, from the roses daily 
gathered for her table to the chapters she read and the 
hymns she sung to her ; the smile that often covered a pang ; 
the pleasant words and tone that many a time came from a 
sinking heart ; they were Alice's daily and nightly cordial. 
Ellen had learned self-command in more than one school ; 
affection, as once before, was her powerful teacher now, and 
taught her well. Sophia openly confessed that Ellen was 
the best nurse ; and Margery when nobody heard her, mut- 
tered blessings on the child's head. 



172 



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Mr. niunphreys came in often to see his daughter, but 
never stayed long. It was plain he could not bear it. It 
might have been difficult too for Alice to bear, but she 
wished for her brother. She reckoned the time from Mrs. 
Chauncey's letter to that when he might be looked for ; but 
some irregularities in the course of the Post Office made it 
impossible to count with certainty upon the exact time of 
his arrival. Meanwhile her failure was very rapid. Mrs. 
Vawse began to fear he would not arrive in time. 

The weeks of June ran out ; the roses, all but a few late 
kinds, blossomed and died ; July came. 

One morning when Ellen went into her room, Alice drew 
her close to her and said, " You remember, Elhe, in the 
Pilgrim's Progress, when Christiana and her companions were 
sent for to go over the river ? — I think the messenger has 
come for me. You must'n't cry, love ; — hsten — this is the 
token he seems to bring me, — ' I have loved thee with an 
everlasting love.' I am sure of it Ellie ; I have no doubt of 
it; — so don't cry forme. You have been my dear comfort, 
my blessing — we shall love each other in heaven, Ellie." 

Alice kissed her earnestly several times, and then Ellen 
escaped from her arms and fled away. It was long before 
she could come back again. But she came at last ; and went 
on through all that day as she had done for weeks before. 
The day seemed long, for every member of the family was 
on the watch for John's arrival, and it was thouQ^ht his sister 
would not live (o see another. It wore away ; hour after 
hour passed without his coming ; and the night fell. Alice 
showed no impatience, but she evidently wished and watched 
for him ; and Ellen, whose affection read her face and knew 
what to make of the look at the opening door, — the eye 
turned toward the window, — the attitude of listening, — grew 
feverish with her intense desire that she should be gratified. 

From motives of convenience, Alice had moved up stairs 
to a room that John generally occupied when he was at 
home ; directly over the sitting-room, and with pleasant 
windows toward the East. Mrs. Chauncey, Miss Sophia, and 
Mrs. Vawse, were all there. Alice w^as lying quietly on the 
bed, and seemed to be dozing ; but Ellen noticed, after 
lights were brought, that every now and then she opened 
her eyes and gave an inquiring look round the room. Ellen 



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173 



could not bear it ; slipping softly out she went down stairs 
and seated herself on the threshold of the glass door, ns if 
by watching there she could be any nearer the knowledge 
of what she wished for. 

It was a perfectly still summer night. The moon shone 
brightly on the little lawn and poured its rays over Ellen, 
just as it had done one well-remembered evening near a year 
ago. Ellen's thoughts went back to it. How like and how 
unlike ! All around was just the same as it had been then ; 
the cool moonlight upon the distant fields, the trees in the 
gap lit up, as then, the lawn a flood of brightness. But 
there was no happy party gathered there now ; — they were 
scattered. One was away ; one a sorrowful watcher alone 
in the moonlight ; — one waiting to be gone where there is no 
need of moon or stars for evermore. Ellen almost wondered 
they could shine so bright upon those that had no heart to 
rejoice in them ; slie thought they looked down coldly and 
unfeelingly upon her distress. She remembered the Avhip- 
poor-will ; none was heard to-night, near or far ; she was 
glad of it ; it would have been too much ; — and there were no 
fluttering leaves ; the air was absolutely still. Ellen looked 
up again at the moon and stars. They shone calmly on, 
despite the reproaches she cast upon them ; and as she still 
gazed up towards them in their piu'ity and steadfastness, other 
thoughts began to come into her head of that which was 
more pure still, and more steadfast. How long they have 
been shining, thought Ellen ; — going on just the same from 
night to night and from year to year, — as if they never would 
come to an end. But they ivUl come to an end — the time 
ivill come when they will stop shining — bright as they are ; 
and then, when all they are swept away, then heaven will be 
only begun ; that will never end ! — never. And in a few 
years we who Avere so happy a year ago and are so sorry 
now, shall be all glad together there, — this will be all over ! 
And then as she looked, and the tears sprang to her 
thoughts, a favorite hymn of Alice's came to her remem- 
brance. 

Ye stars are but the shining dust 

Of my divine abode ; 
The pavements of those heavenly courts 

Where I shall see my God. 



174 



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The Father of eternal lights 

Shall there his beams display ; 
And not one moment's darkness mix 

With that unvaried day. 

" Not one moment's darkness !" " Oh," thought litttle El- 
len, — " there are a great many here !" — Still gazing up at the 
bright calm heavens, while the tears ran fast down her face, and 
fell into her lap, there came trooping through Ellen's mind 
many of tliose ^vords she had been in the habit of reading to 
her mother and Alice, and which she knew and loved so well. 

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no 
candle, neither light of the sun ; for the Lord God giveth 
them light : and they shall reign for ever and ever. And 
there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of 
the Lamb shall be in it ; and his servants shall serve him : 
and they shall see his face ; and his name shall be in their 
foreheads. And God shall wipe away all tears from their 
eyes ; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor 
crying, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former 
things have passed away. 

" And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come 
again and receive you unto myself ; that where I am, there 
ye may be also." 

While Ellen was yet going over and over these precious 
things, with a strong sense of their preciousness in all her 
throbbing grief, there came to her ear through the perfect 
stillness of the night the faint, far-off, not-to-be-mistaken, 
sound of quick-coming horse's feet, — nearer and nearer every 
second. It came with a mingled pang of pain and pleasure, 
both very acute ; she rose instantly to her feet, and stood 
pressing her hand to her heart while the quick measured beat 
of hoofs grew louder and louder, until it ceased at the very 
door. The minutes were few ; but they were moments of 
intense bitterness. The tired horse stooped his head, as the 
rider flung himself from the saddle and came to the door 
where Ellen stood fixed. A look asked, and a look answered, 
the question that lips could not speak. Ellen only pointed 
the way and uttered the words, " up stairs and John 
rushed thither. He checked himself however at the door oi 
the room, and opened it and went in as calmly as if he had 
but come from a walk. But his caution was very needless. 



THE 'SVIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



Alice knew his step, she knew his horse s step, too well ; she 
had raised herself up and stretched out both arms towards 
him before he entered. In another moment they were round 
his neck, and she was supported in his. There was a long, 
long silence. 

"Are you happy, Ahce ?" whispered her brother. 
Perfectly. This was all I w^anted. Kiss me, dear John." 

As he did so, again and again, she felt his tears on her 
cheek, and put up her hand to his face to w4pe them away ; 
kissed him then, and then once again laid her head on his 
breast. They remained so a little while without stirring ; 
except that some whispers were exchanged too low for others 
to hear, and once more she raised her face to kiss him. A 
few minutes after those who could look saw his color change ; 
he felt the arms unclasp their hold ; and as he laid her gently 
back on the pillow they fell languidly down ; the will and 
the power that had sustained them were gone. Alice was 
gone ; but the departing spirit had left a ray of brightness 
on its earthly house ; there was a half smile on the sweet 
face, of most entire peace and satisfaction. Her brother 
looked for a moment, — closed the eyes, — kissed, once and 
again, the sweet lips, — and left the room. 

Ellen saw him no more that night, nor knew how he passed 
it. For her, wearied with grief and excitement, it was spent 
in long heavy slumber. From the pitch to w^iich her spirits 
had been w^rought by care, sorrow, and self-restraint, they 
now suddenly and completely sank down ; naturally, and 
happily, she lost all sense of trouble in sleep. 

When sleep at last left her, and she stole down stairs into 
the sitting-room in the morning, it was rather early. Nobody 
was stirring about the house but herself. It seemed de- 
serted ; the old sitting-room looked empty and forlorn ; the 
stillness was oppressive. Ellen could not bear it. Softly 
opening the glass door she went out upon the lawn w^here 
everything was sparkling in the early freshness of the summer 
morning. How could it look so pleasant without, when all 
pleasantness was gone within ? — It pressed upon Ellen's heai-t. 
With a restless feeling of pain, she went on, round the corner 
of the house, and paced slowly along the road till she came 
to the foot-path that led up to the place on the mountain 
John had called the Bridge of the Nose. Ellen took that 



176 



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path, often traveled and much loved by her ; and slowly, and 
with slow-dripping tears, made her way up over moss wet 
■with the dew, and the stones and rocks with which the rough 
way was strewn. She passed the place where Alice had first 
found her, — she remembered it well ; — there was the very 
stone beside which they had kneeled together, and where 
Ahce's folded hands were laid. Ellen knelt down beside it 
again, and for a moment laid her cheek to the cold stone 
while her arms embraced it, and a second time it was watered 
with tears. She rose up again quickly and went on her way, 
toiling up the steep path beyond, till she turned the edge of 
the mountain and stood on the old place where she and Alice 
that evening had watched the setting sun. Many a setting 
sun they had watched from thence ; it had been a favorite 
pleasure of them both to run up there for a few minutes 
before or after tea and see the sun go down at the far end of 
the long valley. It seemed to Ellen one of Ahce's haunts ; 
she missed her there ; and the thought went keenly home 
that there she would come with her no more. She sat down 
on the stone she called her own, and leaning her head on 
Alice's which was close by, she wept bitterly. Yet not very 
long ; she was too tired and subdued for bitter weeping ; she 
raised her head again, and w^iping away her tears looked 
abroad over the beautiful landscape. Never more beautiful 
than then. 

The early sun filled the valley with patches of light and 
shade. The sides and tops of the hills looking towards the 
east were bright with the cool brightness of the morning ; 
beyond and between them deep shadows lay. The sun could 
not yet look at that side of the mountain where Ellen sat, 
nor at the long reach of ground it screened from his view, 
stretching from the mountain foot to the other end of the 
valley ; but to the left, between that and the Cat's back, the 
rays of the sun streamed through, touching the houses of the 
village, showing the lake, and making every tree and barn and 
clump of wood in the distance stand out in bright relief. 
Deliciously cool, both the air and the light, thougli a warm 
day was promised. The night had wept away all the heat of 
yesterday. Now, the air was fresh with the dew and sweei 
from hayfield and meadow ; and the birds were singing like 
mad all around. There was no answering echo in the httle 



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177 



human heart that looked and hstened. Ellen loved all these 
things too Avell not to notice them even now ; she felt their 
full beauty ; but she felt it sadly. ''She will look at it no 
more !" she said to herself. But instantly came an answer to 
her thought ; — " Behold I create new heavens, and a new 
earth ; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into 
mind. Thy sun shall no more go down ; neither shall thy 
moon withdraw itself : for the Lord shall be thine everlasting 
light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." . 

" She is there now,'' thought Ellen, — " she is happy, — 
why should I be sorry for her ? I am not ; but oh ! 1 must 
be sorry for myself — Oh Alice 1 — dear Alice !" 

She wept ; but then again came sweeping over her mind 
the words with which she was so familiar, — " the days of thy 
mourning shall be ended ;" and again with her regret mingled 
the consciousness that it must be for herself alone. And for her- 
self, — " Can 1 not trust Him whom she trusted ?" she thought. 
Somewhat soothed and more calm, she sat still looking down 
into the brightening valley or off to the hills that stretched 
away on either hand of it ; when up through the still air the 
sound of the little Carra-carra church bell came to her ear. 
It rang for a minute and then stopped. 

It crossed Ellen's mind to wonder what it could be ringing 
for at that time of day ; but she went back to her musings 
and had entirely forgotten it, when again, clear and full 
through the stillness the sound came pealing up. 

" One— two !" 

Ellen knew now ! It went through her very heart. 

It is the custom in the country to toil the church bell upon 
occasion of the death of any one in tlfe township or parish. 
A few strokes are rung by way of drawing attention; these 
are followed after a little pause by a single one if the knell i? 
for a man, or two for a woman. Then another short pause. 
Then follows the number of the years the person has lived, 
told in short, rather slow strokes, as one would count them 
up. After pausing once more the tolling begins, and is kept 
up for some time ; the strokes following in slow and sad sue- 
cession, each one being permitted to die quite away before 
another breaks upon the ear. 

Ellen had been told of this custom, but habit had never 
made it familiar. Only once she had happened to hear this 
8* 



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notice of death given out ; and that was long ago ; the bell 
could not be heard at Miss Fortune's house. It came upon 
her now Avith all the force of novelty and surprise. As the 
number of the years of Alice's life was sadly told out, every 
stroke was to her as if it fell upon a raw nerve. Ellen hid 
her face in her lap and tried to keep from counting, but she 
could not ; and as the tremulous sound of the last of the 
twenty-four died away upon the air, she was shuddering from 
head io foot. A burst of tears relieved her when the sound 
ceased. 

Just then a voice close beside her said low, as if the speak- 
er might not trust its higher tones, — " I will lift up mine eyes 
unto the hills, from whence cometh my help ! ' 

How differently that sound struck upon Ellen's ear ! With 
an indescribable air of mingled tenderness, weariness, and sor- 
row, she slowly rose from her seat and put both her arms 
round the speaker's neck. Neither said a word ; but to Ellen 
the arm that held her was more than all words ; it was the 
dividing line between her and the world, — on this side every- 
thing, on that side nothing. 

No word was spoken for many minutes. 

*' My dear Ellen," said her brother softly, — " how came you 
here?" 

" I don't know," whispered Ellen, — "there was nobody 
there — I couldn't stay in the house." 
Shall we go home now ?" , 
" yes — whenever you please. 

But neither moved yet. Ellen had raised her head ; she 
still stood with her arm upon her brother's shoulder ; the 
eyes of both were on the scene before them ; the thoughts of 
neither. He presently spoke again. 

" Let us try to love our God better, EUie, the less we have 
left to love in this world ; — that is his meaning — let sorrow 
but bring us closer to him. Dear Alice is well —she is well, 
— and if ive are made to suffer, we know and we love the 
hand that has done it, — do w e not EUie ?" 

Ellen put her hands to her face ; she thought her heart 
would break. He gently drew her to a seat on the stone 
beside him, and still keeping his arm round her, slowly and 
soothingly went on — 

Think that she is happy ; — think that she is safe ; — think 



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179 



that she is with that blessed One whose face we seek at a 
distance, — satisfied with his hkeness instead of wearily strug- 
gling with sin ; — think that sweetly and easily she has got 
home ; and it is our home too. We must weep, because we 
are left alone ; but for her — * I heard a voice from heaven 
saying unto me, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord !' " 

As he spoke in low and sweet tones, Ellen's tears calmed 
and stopped ; but she still kept her hands to her face. 

" Shall we go home, Ellie ?" said her brother after another 
silence. She rose up Instantly and said yes. But he held 
her still, and looking for a moment at the tokens of watching 
and grief and care in her countenance, he gently kissed the 
pale little face, adding a word of endearment which almost 
broke Ellen's heart again. Then taking her hand they went 
down the mountain together. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 



" I have seen angels by the sick one's pillow ; 

Theirs was the soft tone and the soundless tread, 
Where smitten hearts were drooping like the willow, 
They stood ' between the living and the dead.' " 

Unknown. 

The whole Marsbman family arrived to-day from Ventnor ; 
Bome to see Alice's loved remains, and all to follow them tc 
the grave. The parsonage could not hold so many ; the two 
Mr. Marshman's therefore, with Major and Mrs. Gillespie, 
made their quarters at Thirlwall. Margery's hands were full 
enough with those tliat w^ere left. 

In the afternoon however she found time for a visit to the 
room, the room. She was standing at the foot of the bed, 
gazing on the sweet face she loved so dearly, when Mrs. 
Chauncey and Mrs, Vawse came up for the same purpose. 
All three stood some time in silence. 

The bed was strewn with flowers, somewhat singularl}^ dis- 
posed. Upon the pillow, and upon and about the hands which 
were folded on the breast, were scattered some of the rich late 
roses, — roses and rose-buds, strewn with beautiful and pro- 
fuse carelessness. A single stem of white lilies lay on the side 
of the bed ; tlie rest of the flowers, a large quantity, covered 
the feet, seeming to have been flung there w^ithout any attempt 
at arrangement. They w^ere of various kinds, chosen however 
with exquisite taste and feeling. Beside the roses, there were 
none that were not either white or distinguished for their 
fragrance. The delicate white verbearer, the pure feverfew, 
mignonette, sweet geranium, white myrtle, the rich-scented 
heliotrope, were mingled with the late-blossoming damask 
and purple roses ; no yellow flowers, no purple, except those 
mentioned ; even the flaunting petunia, though white, had 
been left out by the nice hand that had pulled them. But 



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181 



the aiTanging of these beauties seemed to have been httle 
more tlian attempted ; though indeed it might be questioned 
whether the finest art could have bettered the effect of what 
the over-tasked hand of affection had left half done. Mis 
Chauncey however after a while began slowly to take a 
flower or two from the foot and place them on other parts of 
the bed. 

" Will Mrs. Chauncey pardon my being so bold," said 
Margery then, who had looked on with no pleasure while 
this "was doing, — " but if she had seen when those flowers were 
put there, — it wouldn't be her wish, I am sure it wouldn't be 
her wish, to stir one of them." 

Mrs. Chauncey 's hand, which was stretched out for a fourth, 
drew back. 

" Why who put them here ?" she asked. 

" Miss Ellen, ma'am. 

" Where is Ellen ?" 

" 1 think she is sleeping, ma'am. Poor child ! she's the 
most wearied of us all with sorrow and watching," said 
Margery weeping. 

" You saw her bring them up, did you ?" 

" I saw her, ma'am. will I ever forget it as long as I 
live!" 

" Why ?" said Mrs. Chauncey gently. 

" It's a thing one should have seen, ma'am, to understand. 
I don't know as I can tell it well." 

Seeing however that Mrs. Chauncey still looked her wish, 
Margery went on, half under her breath. 

" Why ma'am, the way it was, — 1 had come up to get some 
linen out of the closet, for I had watched my time ; Mrs. 
Chauncey sees, I was afeard of finding Mr. John here, and I 
knew he was lying down just then, so — " 

" Lying down, was he ?" said Mrs. Vawse. " I did not 
know he had taken any rest to-day.', 

" It was very little he took, ma'am, indeed, though there 
was need enough I am sure ; — he had been up with his father 
the live-long blessed nioht. And then the first thing this 
morning he was away after Miss Ellen, poor child ! wherever 
she had betaken herself to ; I happened to see her before 
anybody was out, going round the corner of the house, and 
«o I knew when he asked me for her." 



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" Was she going after flowers then said Mrs. Chaun 
cey. 

no, ma'am, — it was a long time after ; it was this 
morning some time. — I had come up to the linen closet, 
knowing Mr. John was in his room, and I thought I was 
safe ; and I had just taken two or three pieces on my arm, 
you know, ma'am, when somehow I forgot mj^self, and for- 
got what I had come for, and leaving what I should ha' been 
a doing, I was standing there, looking out this way at the 
dear features I never thought to see in death — and I had 
entirely forgotten what I was there for, ma'am, — when I 
heard Miss Ellen's little footstep coming softly up stairs. I 
didn't want her to catch sight of me just then, so I had just 
drew myself back a bit, so as I could see her without her 
seeing me back in the closet where I was. But it had like 
to have got the better of me entirely, ma'am, when I see her 
come in with a lap full of them flowers, and looking so as she 
did too ! but with much trouble I kept quiet. She went up 
and stood by the side of the bed, just where Mrs. Chauncey 
is standing, with her sweet sad little face, — it's the hardest 
thing to see a" child's face to look so, — and the flowers all 
gathered up in her frock. It was odd to see her, she didn't 
cry, — not at all, — only once I see her brow wrinkle, but it 
seemed as if she had a mind not to, for she put her hand up 
to her face and held it a little, and then she began to take 
out the flowers one by one, and she'd lay a rose here and a 
rose-bud there, and so ; and then she went round to the other * 
side and laid the lilies, and two or three more roses there on 
the pillow. But I could see all the while it was getting too 
much for her ; I see very soon she wouldn't get through ; she 
just placed two or three more, and one rose there in that hand, 
and that was the last. I could see it working in her face ; 
she turned as pale as her lilies all at once, and just tossed up 
all the flowers out of her frock on to the bed-foot there, — 
that's just as they fell, — and down she went on her knees, and 
her face in her hands on the side of the bed. I thought no 
more about my linen," said Margery weeping, — " I couldn't 
do anything but look at that child kneeling there, and her 
flowers, — and all beside her she used to call her sister, and 
that couldn't be a sister to her no more; and she's without a 
sister now to be sure, poor child !" 



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" She has a brotlicr, unless I am mistaken," said Mrs. 
Chauncey, when she could speak. 

" And that's just what I was going to tell you, ma'am. 
She had been there five or ten minutes without moving, or 
more — I am sure I don't know how long it was, I didn't think 
how time went, — when the first thing I knew 1 heard another 
step, and Mr. John came in. I thought, and expected, he 
Avas taking some sleep ; but I suppose," said Margery sigh- 
ing, "he couldn't rest. I knew his step and just drew myself 
back further. He came just where you are, ma'am, and stood 
with his arms folded a long time looking. I don't know how 
Miss Ellen didn't hear him come in ; but however she didn't ; 
— and they were both as still as death, one on one side, and 
the other on the other side. And I wondered he didn't see 
her; but her white dress and all — and I suppose he hud no 
thought but for one thing. I knew the first minute he did see 
her, Avhen he looked over and spied her on the other side of 
the bed ; — I see his color change ; and then his mDuth took 
the look it always did whenever he sets himself to do any- 
thing. He stood a minute, and then he went round, and 
knelt down beside of her, and softly took away one of her hands 
from under her face, and held it in both of his own, and then 
he made such a prayer !-^0h," said Margery, her tears fall- 
ing fast at the recollection, — " I never heard the like ! I never 
did. He gave thanks for Miss Alice, and he had reason 
enough to be sure, — and for himseljf and Miss Ellen — I won- 
dered to hear him ! — and he prayed for them too, and others, 
— and — oh I thought I couldn't stand and hear him ; and I 
was afeard to breathe the whole time, lest he would know I 
was there. It was the beautifullest prayer I did ever hear, 
or ever shall, however." 

" And how did Ellen behave ?" said Mrs. Chauncey when 
she could speak. 

" She didn't stir, nor make the least motion nor sound, till 
he had done, and spoke to her. They stood a little while 
then, and Mr. John put the rest of the flowers up there round 
her hands and the pillow, — Miss Ellen hadn't put more than 
half a dozen ; — I noticed how he kept hold of Miss Ellen's 
hand all the time. I heard her begin to tell him how she 
didn't finish the flowers, and he told her, ' I saw it all, Ellie,' 
he said ; and he said ' it didn't want finishing.' I wondered 



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how he should see it, but I suppose he did, however. 1 
understood it very welL They went away down stairs after 
that." 

" He is beautifully changed," said Mrs. Vawse. 

" I don't know, ma'am," said Margery, — " I've heard that 
said afore, but I can't say as I ever could see it. He always 
was the same to me — always the honorablest, truest, noblest 
— my husband says he was a bit fiery, but 1 never could tell 
that the one temper was sweeter than the other ; only every- 
body always did whatever Mr. John wanted, to be sure ; but 
he was the perfectest gentleman, always." 

" I have not seen either Mr. John or Ellen since my mother 
came," said Mrs. Chauncey. 

"No, ma'am," said Margery, — "they were out reading 
under the trees for a long time ; and Miss Ellen came in the 
kitchen-way a little while ago and went to lie down." 

" How is Mr. Humphreys ?" 

"01 can't tell you, ma'am, — he is worse than any one 
knows of I am afraid, unless Mr. John ; you will not see him, 
ma'am ; he has not been here once, nor don't mean to, I 
think. It will go hard with my poor master, I am afraid," 
said Margery weeping; — "dear Miss Ahce said Miss Ellen 
"was to take her place ; but it would want an angel to do 
that." 

" Ellen will do a great deal," said Mrs. Vawse; — "Mr. 
Humphreys loves her well now, I know." 

" So do I, ma'am, I am sure ; and so does every one ; but 
still—" 

Margery broke off her sentence and sorrowfully went down 
stairs. Mrs. Chauncey moved no more fluwers. 

Late in the afternoon of the next day Margery came softly 
into Ellen's room. 

"Miss Ellen, dear, you are awake, aren't you?" 

" Yes, Margery," said Ellen, sitting up on the bed ; — " come 
in. What is it ?" 

" I came to ask Miss Ellen if she could do me a great favor ; 
— there's a strange gentleman come, and nobody has seen 
him yet, and it don't seem right. He has been here this some 
time." 

" Have you told Mr. John ?" 

** No, Miss Ellen ; he's in the library with my master ; and 



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185 



somehow I durstn't go to the door ; mayhap they wouldn't be 
best pleased. Woiild Miss Ellen mind telling Mr. John of 
the gentleman's being here ?" 

Ellen would mind it ver}^ much, there was no doubt of 
that ; Margery could hardly have asked her to put a greater 
force upon herself ; she did not say so. 

" You are sure he is there, Margery ?" • 
I am quite sure, Miss Ellen. I am very sorry to distui b 
you ; but if you wouldn't mind — T am ashamed to have the 
gentleman left to himself so long." 

" I'll do it, Margery." 

She got up, shpped on her shoes, and mechanically smooth- 
ing her hair, set off to the library. On the way she almost 
repented her willingness to oblige Margery ; the errand was 
marvelous disagreeable to her. She had never gone to that 
room except with Ahce ; never entered it uninvited. She could 
hardly make up her mind to knock at the door. But she had 
promised ; it must be done. 

The first fearful tap was too hght to arouse any mortal 
ears. At the second, though not much better, she heard some 
one move, and John opened the door. Without waiting to 
hear her speak he immediately drew her in, very unwillingly 
on her part, and led her silently up to his father. The old 
gentleman was sitting in his great study-chair with a book 
open at his side. He turned from it as she came up, took 
her hand in his, and held it for a few moments without speak- 
ing. Ellen dared not raise her eyes. 

** My little girl," said he very gravely, though not without 
a tone of kindness too, — " are you coming hereto cheer my 
loneliness ?" 

Ellen in vain struggled to speak an articulate word. ; it 
was impossible ; she suddenly stooped down and touched 
her lips to the hand that lay on the arm of the chair. He 
put the hand tenderly upon her head. 

"God bless you," said he, "abundantly, for all the love 
you showed her. Come, — if you will, — and be, as far as a 
withered heart will let you, all that she wished. All is 
yours — except what will be buried with her." 

Ellen was awed and pained, very much. Not because the 
words and manner wei-e sad and solemn ; it was the font 
that distressed her. There was no tearfulness in it; ii 



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trembled a little ; it seemed to come indeed from a withered 
heart. She shook with the effort she made to control her- 
self. John asked her presently w^hat she had come for. 

"A gentleman," said Ellen, — "there's a gentleman — a 
stranger " — 

He went immediatel}^ out to see him, leaving her standing 
there. Ellen did not know whether to go too or stay ; she 
thought from his not taking her with him he wished her to 
stay ; she stood doubtfully. Presently she heard steps com- 
ing back along the hall — steps of two persons — the door 
opened, and the strange gentleman came in. No stranger 
to Ellen ! she knew him in a moment ; it was her old friend, 
her friend of the boat, — Mr. George Marshman. 

Mr. Humphreys rose up to meet him, and the two gentle- 
men shook hands in silence. Ellen had at first shrunk out 
of the way to the other side of the room, and now when 
she saw an opportunity she was going to make her escape ; 
but John gently detained her ; and she stood still by his side, 
thouo-h with a kind of feelino- that it was not there the best 
place or time for her old friend to recognize her. He was 
sitting by Mr. Humphreys and for the present quite occupied 
with him. Ellen thought nothing of what they were saying ; 
with eyes eagerly fixed upon Mr. Marshman she was reading 
memory's long story orer again. The same pleasant look 
and kind tone that she remembered so well came to com- 
fort her in her first sorrow, — the old way of speaking, and 
even of moving an arm or hand, the familiar figure and face ; 
how they took Ellen's thoughts back to the deck of the 
steamboat, the hymns, the talks ; the love and kindness that 
led and persuaded her so faithfully and effectually to do her 
duty ; — it was all present again ; and Ellen gazed at him as 
at a picture of the past, forgetting for the moment every- 
thinor else. The same love and kindness were endeavorino- 
now to say something for Mr. Humphreys' relief ; it was a 
hard task. The old gentleman heard and answered, for the 
most part briefly, but so as to show that his friend labored 
in vain ; the bitterness and hardness of grief were unallayed 
yet. It was not till John made some slight remark that Mr. 
Marshman turned his head that way ; he looked for a mo- 
ment in some surprise, and then said, his countenance light- 
ening, " Is that Ellen Montgomery ?" 



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187 



Ellen sprang across at that word to take his out-stretched 
hand. But as she felt the well remembered grasp of it, and 
met the old look the thought of which she had treasured up 
for years, — it was too much. Back as in a flood to her heart, 
seemed to come at once all the thoughts and feelings of the 
time since then ; — the difference of this meeting from the joy- 
ful one she had so often pictured to herself ; the sorrow of 
that time mixed with the sorrow now ; and the sense that the 
very hand that had wiped those first tears away was the one 
now laid in the dust by death. All thronged on her heart 
at once ; and it was too much. She had scarce touched Mr. 
Marshman's hand when she hastily withdrew her own, and 
gave way to an overwhelming burst of sorrow. It was in- 
fectious. There was such an utter absence of all bitterness 
or hardness in the tone of this grief ; there was so touching 
an expression of submission mingled with it, that even Mr. 
Humphreys was overcome. Ellen was not the only subdued 
weeper there; not the only one whose tears came from a 
broken-up heart. For a few minutes the silence of stifled 
sobs was in the room, till Ellen recovered enough to make 
her escape ; and then the color of sorrow was hghtened, in 
one breast at least. 

" Brother," said Mr. Humphreys, — " I can hear you now 
better than I could a little while ago. I had almost forgot- 
ten that God is good. ' Light in the darkness ;' — I see it 
now.' That child has given me a lesson." 

Ellen did not know what had passed around her, nor 
what had followed her quitting the room. But she thought 
when John came to the tea-table he looked relieved. If his 
general kindness and tenderness of manner toward herself 
could have been greater than usual, she might have thought 
it was that night ; but she only thought he felt better. 

Mr. Marshman was not permitted to leave the house. He 
was a great comfort to everybody. Not himself overbur- 
dened with sorrow, he was able to make that effort for the 
good of the rest which no one yet had been equal to. 
The whole family, except Mr. Humphi-eys, were gathered 
together at this time ; and his grave cheerful unceasing kind 
ness made that by far the most comfortable meal that had 
been taken. It was exceeding grateful to Ellen to see and 
aear him, from the old remembrance as well as the present 



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effect. And he had not forgotten his old kindness for her : 
she saw it in his look, his words, his voice, shown in every 
way ; and the feeling that she had got her old friend again 
and should never lose him now gave her more deep pleasure 
than anything else could possibly have done at tiiat time. 
His own family too had not seen him in a long time, so his 
presence was matter of general satisfaction. 

Later in the evenino^ Ellen was sittinfr beside him on the 
sofa, looking and listening, — he was like a piece of old mu- 
sic to her, — when John came to the back of the sofa and 
said he wanted to speak to her. She went with him to the 
other side of the room. 

" Ellie," said he in in low voice, " I think ray father 
would like to hear you sing a hymn, — do you think you 
could ?" 

Ellen looked up, with a peculiar mixture of uncertainty 
and resolution in her countenance, and said yes. 

" Not if it will pain you too much, — and not unless you 
think you can surely go through with it, Ellen," he said 
gently, 

" No," said Ellen I will try." 

" Will it not give you too much pain ? do you think you 
can ?" 

" No — I will try," she repeated. 

As she went along the hall she said and resolved to herself 
t\\2ii would do it. The library was dark; coming 'from 
the light Ellen at first could see nothing, John placed her in 
a chair, and went away himself to a little distance where he 
remained perfectly still. She covered her face with her hands 
for a minute, and prayed for strength ; she was afraid to try, 

Alice and her brother were remarkable for beauty of voice 
and utterance. The latter Ellen had in part caught from 
them ; in the former she thought herself greatly inferior. 
Perhaps she underrated herself ; her voice, though not indeed 
powerful, was low and sweet and very clear ; and the entire 
simpHcity and feeling with which she sang hymns was more 
effectual than any higher qualities of tone and compass. She 
had been very much accustomed to sing with Alice, who ex- 
celled in beautiful truth and simplicity of expression ; listen- 
ing with delight, as she had often done, and often joining with 
her, Ellen had caught something of her manner. 



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189 



She thought nothing of all this now ; she had a trying task 
to go through. Sing ! — then, and there ! — And what should 
she sing ? All that class of hymns that bore directly on 
the subject of their sorrow must be left on one side ; she 
liardly dared think of them. Instinctively she took up ano- 
ther class, that without baring the wound would lay the balm 
close to it. A few minutes of deep stillness were in the dark 
room ; then very low, and in tones that trembled a little, rose 
the words. 

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds 

In a believer's ear ; 
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, 

And drives away his fear. 

The tremble in her voice ceased, as she went on. 

It makes the wounded spirit whole, 

And calms the troubled breast ; 
'Tis manna to the hungry soul, 

And to the weary, rest. 

By him my prayers acceptance gain, 

Although with sin defiled ; 
Satan accuses me in vain. 

And I am owned a child. 

"Weak is the efibrt of my heart, 

And cold my warmest thought, — 
But when I see thee as thou art, 

I'll praise thee as I ought. 

Till then I would thy love proclaim 

With every lab'ring breath ; 
And may the music of thy name 

Refresh my soul in death. 

Ellen paused a minute. There was not a sound to be 
heard in the room. She thought of the hymn, "Loving 
Kindness ;" but the tune, and the spirit of the words, was too 
Uvely. Her mother's favorite, " 'Tis my happiness below," 
but Ellen could not venture that ; she strove to forget it as 
fast as possible. She sang, clearly and sweetly as ever now, 

Hark my soul, it is the Lord, 
'Tis thy Saviour, hear his word ;— 
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee, 
** Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me 

*' I delivered thee when bound, 
And when bleeding healed thy wound ; 
Sought thee wandering, set thee right. 
Turned thy darkness into light. 



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" Can a mother's tender care 
Cease toward the child she bare 1 
Yea — she may forgetful be, 
Yet will I remember thee. 

*' Mine is an unchanging love ; 
Higher than the heights above, 
Deeper than the depths beneath, 
Free and faithful, strong as death. 

" Thou shalt see my glory soon, # 
When the work of life is done, 
Partner of my throne shah be, — 
Say, poor .sinner, lovest thou me 1" 

Lord, it is my chief complaint 
That my love is weak and faint ; 
Yet I love thee and adore, — 
Oh for grace to love thee more ! 

Ellen's task was no longer painful, but most delightful. 
She hoped she was doing some good ; and that hope enabled 
her, after the first trembling beginning, to go on without any 
difficulty. She was not thinking of herself. It was very well 
she could not see the effect upon her auditors. Through the 
dark her eyes could only just discern a dark figure stretched 
upon the sofa and another standing by the mantlepiece. The 
room was profoundly still, except when she was singing. The 
choice of hymns gave her the greatest trouble. She thought 
of " Jerusalem, my happy home," but it would not do ; she 
and Alice had too often sung it in strains of joy. Happily 
came* to her mind the beautiful, 

" How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord," &c. 

She went through all the seven long verses. Still when 
Ellen paused at the end of this, the breathless silence seemed 
to invite her to go on. She waited a minute to gather breath. 
The blessed words had gone down into her very heart ; did 
they ever seem half so sweet before ? She was cheered and 
strengthened, and thought she could go through with the next 
hymn, though it had been much loved and often used, both 
by her mother and Alice. 

Jesus, lover of my soul, 
Let me to thy bosom fly, 
While the billows near me roll, 
While the tempest still is nigh. 
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide. 
Till the storm of life be past • — 
Safe into the haven guide, — 
O receive my soul at last ! 



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191 



Other refuge have I none, 
Hangs my helpless soul on thee — 
Leave, ah ! leave me not alone ! 
Still support and comfort me. 
All my trust on thee is stayed, 
All my help from thee I bring ; — 
Cover my defenceless head 
Beneath the shadow of thy wing. 

Thou, O Christ, art all I want ; 
More than all in thee I find ; 
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint. 
Heal the sick, and lead the blind. 
Just and holy is thy name, 
I am all unrighteousness ; 
Vile and full of sin I am. 
Thou art full of truth and grace. 

Still silence ; — " silence that spoke !" Ellen did not know 
what it said, except that her hearers did not wish her to stop. 
Her next was a very favorite hymn of them all. 

" What are these in bright array," &c. 

Ellen had allowed her thoucrhts to travel too far alono: with 
the words, for in the last lines her voice was unsteady and 
faint. She was fain to make a longer pause than usual to 
recover herself. But in vain ; the tender nerve was touched ; 
there was no stilling its quivering. 

" Ellen " — said Mr. Humphreys then after a few minutes. 
She rose and went to the sofa. He folded her close to his 
breast. 

" Thank you, my child," he said presently ; — " you have 
been a comfort to me. Nothing but a choir of angels could 
have been sweeter." 

As Ellen went away back through the hall her tears almost 
choked her ; but for all that there was a strong throb of 
pleasure at her heart. 

I have been a comfort to him," she repeated. " Oh deaj 
Alice !— so I will !" 



CHAPTER XLIV. 



" A child no more ! — a maiden now — 
A graceful maiden with a gentle brow ; 
A cheek tinged lightlj-, and a dove-like eye, 
And all hearts bless her as she passes by." 

Mary HomTT. 

The whole Marshman family returned to Ventnor imme- 
diately after the funeral, Mr. George excepted ; he stayed 
with Mr. Humphreys over the Sabbath, and preached for 
him ; and much to every one's pleasure lingered still a day or 
two longer ; then he was obliged to leave them. John also 
must go back to Doncaster for a few weeks ; he would not be 
able to get home again before the early part of August. For 
the month between and as much longer indeed as pos- 
sible, Mrs. Marshman wished to have Ellen at Ventnor ; assur- 
ing her that it was to be her home always whenever she chose 
to make it so. At first neither Mrs. Marshman nor her 
daughters would take any denial ; and old Mr. Marshman was 
fixed upon it. But Ellen begged with tears that she might 
stay at home and begin at once, as far as she could, to take 
Ahce's place. Her kind friends insisted that it would do her 
harm to be left alone for so long, at such a season. Mr. 
Humphreys in the best of times kept very much to himself, 
and now he would more than ever ; she would be very lonely. 
*' But how lonely he will be if I go away !" said Ellen ; — " I 
can't go." Finding that her heart was set upon it, and that it 
would be a real grief to her to go to Ventnor, John at last 
joined to excuse her ; and he made an arrangement with Mrs. 
Vawse instead that she should come and stay with Ellen at 
the parsonage till he came back. This gave Ellen great satis- 
faction ; and her kind Ventnor friends were obliged unwil- 
lingly to leave her. 

The first few days after John's departure were indeed sad 



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193 



days — very sad to every one ; it could not be otherwise. 
Ellen drooped miserably. She had, however, the best possi- 
ble companion in her old Swiss friend. Her good sense, her 
steady cheerfulness, her firm principle were always awake for 
Ellen's good, ever ready to comfort her, to cheer her, to pre- 
vent her from giving undue way to sorrow, to urge her to 
useful exertion. Affection and gratitude, to the living and the 
dead, gave powerful aid to these efforts. Ellen rose up in 
tlie morning and lay down at night with the present pressing 
wish to do and be for the ease and comfort of her adopted 
father and brother all that it was possible for her. Very soon, 
so soon as she could rouse herself to anything, she began to 
turn over in her mind all manner of ways and means for this 
end. And in general, whatever Alice would have washed, 
what John did wish, w^as law to her. 

Margery," said Ellen one day, "I wish you would tell me 
all the things Alice used to do ; so that I may begin to do 
them, you know, as soon as I can." 

What things, Miss Ellen?" 
" I mean, the things she used to do about the house, or to 
help you, — don't you know ? — all sorts of things. I want to 
know them all, so that I may do them as she did. I want to 
very much." 

" 0, Miss Ellen, dear," said Margeiy tearfully, " you are 
too little and tender to do them things ; — I'd be sorry to see 
you, indeed !" 

"Why no, I am not, Margery," said Ellen; — "don't you 
know how I used to do at aunt Fortune's ? Now tell me — 
please, dear Margery! If I can't do it, I won't, you know." 

0, Miss Ellen, she used to see to various things about the 
house ; — I don't know as I can tell 'em all directly ; some 
was to help me ; and some to please her father, or Mr. John, 
if he was at home ; she thought of every one else before her- 
self, sure enough." 

" W^ell what, Margery ? what were they ? Tell me all you 
can remember." 

" Why, Miss Ellen, — for one thing, — she used to go into 
the library every morning, to put it in order, and dust the 
books and papers and things ; in fact she took the charge of 
that room entirely ; 1 never went into it at all, unless once or 
twice in the year, or to wash the windows." 
VOL. II. 9 



194 



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Ellen looked grave ; she thought with herself there might 
be a difficulty in the way of her taking this part of Alice's 
daily duties ; she did not feel that she had the freedom of the 
library. 

" And then," said Margery, she used to skim the cream 
for me, most mornings, when I'd be busy ; and w ash up the 
breakfast things, — " 

"01 forgot all about the breakfast things !" exclaimed 
Ellen, — " how could I ! I'll do them to be sure, after this. I 
never thought of them^ Margery. And I'll skim the cream 
too." 

" Dear Miss Ellen, I wouldn't want you to ; I didn't men- 
tion it for that, but you was wishing me to tell you — I don't 
want you to trouble your dear little head about such work. It 
was more the thoughtfulness that cared about me than the 
help of all she could do, though that wasn't a little ; — I'll get 
along well enough ! — " 

IBut 1 should like to, — it would make me happier ; and 
don't you think / want to help you too, Margery ?" 

"The Lord bless you, Miss Kllen," said Margery, in a sort 
of desperation, setting down one iron and taking up another, 
"don't talk in that way, or you'll upset me entirely, — I aint 
a bit better than a child," said she, her tears falling fast on the 
sheet she was hurriedly ironing. 

" What else, dear Margery ?" said Ellen presently. " Tell 
me what else ?" 

"Well, Miss Ellen," said Margery, dashing away the water 
from either eye, — " she used to look over the clothes when 
they went up from the wash ; and put them aw^ay ; and mend 
them if there was any places wanted mending." 

" 1 am afraid I don't know how to manage that," said 
Ellen very gravely. — " There is one thing I can do, — I can 
darn stockings very nicely ; but that's only one kind of mend- 
ing. I don't know^ much about the otlier kinds." 

" Ah well, but she did, however," said Margery, searching 
in her basket of clothes for some particular pieces. " A beau- 
tiful mender she was to be sure ! Look here. Miss Ellen, 
— just see that patch — the way it is put on — so evenly by a 
thread all round ; and the stitches, see — and see the way this 
rent is darned down ; — oh that was the way she did every- 
thing 1" 



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195 



" I can't do it so," said Ellen sighing, — " But I can learn ; — 
that I can do. You will teach me Margery, won't you ?" 

" Indeed Miss Ellen, dear, it's more than I can myself ; 
but I will tell you who will ; and that's Mrs. Vawse. I am 
thinking it was her she learned of in the first place, — but I 
aint certain. Anyhow she's a first-rate hand." 

" Then I'll get her to teach me," said Ellen ; — " that will 
do very nicely. And now Margery, what else ?" 

" dear, Miss Ellen, — I don't know, — there Avas a thou- 
sand little things that I'd only recollect at the minute ; she'd 
set the table for me when my hands was uncommon full ; and 
often she'd come out and make some httle thing for the mas- 
ter when I wouldn't have the time to do the same myself ; — 
and i can't tell — one can't think of those things but just at 
the minute. Dear Miss Ellen, I'd be sorry indeed to see you 
a trying your little hands to do all that she done." 

" Never mind Margery," said Ellen, " and she threw her 
arms round the kind old woman as she spoke, — "I won't 
trouble you — and you won't be troubled if I am awkward 
about anything at first, will you ?" 

Margery could only throw down her holder to return most 
affectionately as w^ell as respectfully Ellen's caress and press 
a very hearty kiss upon her forehead. 

Ellen next went to Mrs. Vawse to beg her help in the 
mending and patching line. Her old friend was very glad to 
see her take up anything with interest, and readily agreed to 
do her best in the matter. So some old clothes were looked 
up ; pieces of hnen, cotton, and flannel gathered together ; a 
large basket found to hold all these rags of shape and no 
shape ; and for the next week or two Ellen was indefatigable. 
She w^ould sit making vain endeavors to arrange a large linen 
patch properly, till her cheeks were burning with excitement ; 
and bend over a darn, doing her best to take invisible stitches, 
till Mrs. Vawse was. obliged to assure her it was quite un- 
necessary to take so much pains. Taking pains, however, is 
the sure way to success. Ellen could not rest satisfied till 
she had equalled Alice's patching and darning ; and though 
when Mrs. Vawse left her she had not quite reached that 
point, she was bidding fair to do so in a little while. 

In other things she was more at home. She could skim 
milk well enough, and immediately began to do it for Mar- 



196 



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gery. She at once also took upon herself the care of the 
parlor cupboard and all the things in it, which she well knew 
had been Alice's office ; and thanks to Miss Fortune's training, 
even Margery was quite satisfied with her neat and orderly 
manner of doing it. Ellen begged her when the clothes came 
up from the wash, to show her where everything went, so 
^hat for the future she miglit be able to put them away ; and 
she studied the shelves of the linen closet, and the chests of 
drawers in Mr. Humphreys' room, till she almost knew them 
by heart. As to the library, she dared not venture. Slie 
law Mr. Humphreys at meals and at prayers, — only then. 
He had never asked her to come into his study since the 
night she sang to him, and as for her asking — nothing could 
have been more impossible. Even when he was out of the 
house, out by the hour, Ellen never thought of ffoino- where 
she had not been expressly permitted to go. 

AVhen Mr. Van ]>runt informed his wife of Ellen's purpose 
to desert her service and make her future home at the par- 
sonage, the lady's astonishment was only less than her indig- 
nation ; the latter not at all lessened by learning that Ellen 
was to become the adopted child of the house. For a while 
her words of displeasure were poured forth in a torrent ; Mr. 
Van Brunt meantime saying very little, and standing by like a 
steadfast rock that the waves dash past, not vpon. She de- 
clared this was " the cap-sheaf of Miss Humphreys' doings ; 
she mi(jht have been wise enough to have expected as much ; 
she wouldn't haye been such a fool if she had ! This was what 
she had let Ellen go there for ! a pretty return !'' But she 
went on. " She wondered who they thought they had to 
deal with ; did they think she was going to let Ellen go in 
that way ? she had the first and only rigiit to her ; and Ellen 
had no more business to c^o and oive hei-self away than one 
of her oxen ; they would find it out, she guessed, pretty 
quick ; Mr. John and all ; she'd have her back in no time !" 
AVhat were her thoughts and feelings, when after having 
spent her breath she found her husband quietly opposed to this 
conclusion, words cannot tell. Her words could not ; she 
was absolutely dumb, till he had said his say ; and then, 
nppalled by the serenity of his manner she left indignation on 
one side for the present and began to argue the matter. But 
Mr. Van Brunt coolly said he had promised ; she might get 



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197 



as many help as she Hked, he would pay for them and wel- 
come ; but Ellen would have to stay where she was. He 
had promised Miss Alice ; and he wouldn't break his word 
** for kings, lords, and commons." A most extraordinary 
expletive for a good republican, — which Mr. Van Brunt had 
probably inherited from his father and grandfather. What 
can waves do against a rock ? The whilome Miss Fortune 
disdained a struggle which must end in her own confusion, 
and wisely kept her chagrin to herself ; never even approach- 
ing the subject afterwards, with him or any other person. 
Ellen had left the whole matter to Mr. Van Brunt, expecting 
a storm and not wishing to share it. Happily it all blew 
over. 

As the month drew to an end, and indeed long before, 
Ellen's thoughts began to go forward eagerly to John's com- 
ing home. She had learned by this time how to mend 
clothes ; she had grown somewhat w^onted to her new round 
of little household duties ; in everything else the want of him 
was felt. Study flagged ; though knowing what his wish 
would be, and what her duty was, she faithfully tried to go 
on with it. She had no heart for riding or walking by her- 
self. She was lonely ; she was sorrowful ; she was weary ; 
all Mrs. Vawse's pleasant society was not worth the mere 
knowledge that he was in the house ; she longed for his 
coming. 

He had written what day they might expect him. But 
when it came Ellen tound that her feeling had changed ; it 
did not look the bright day she had expected it would. Up 
to that time she had thought only of herself ; now she remem- 
bered what sort of a coming home this must be to him ; and 
she dreaded almost as much as she wished for the moment 
of his arrival. Mrs. Vawse was surprised to see that her face 
was sadder that day than it had been for many past ; she 
could not understand it. Ellen did not explain. It was late 
in the day before he reached home, and her anxious watch of 
hope and fear for the sound of his horse's feet grew very 
painful. She busied herself with setting the tea-table ; it was 
all done ; and she could by no means do anything else. She 
could not go to the door to listen there ; she remembered too 
well the last time ; and she knew he would remember it. 



198 



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He came at last. Ellen's feeling liad judged rightly of his, 
for the greeting was without a word on either side ; and when 
he left the room to go to his father, it was ver}^ very long 
before h% came back. And it seemed to Ellen for several 
days that he was more grave and talked less than even the 
last time he had been at home. She was sorry when Mrs. 
Vawse proposed to leave them. But the old lady wisely 
said they would all feel better Avhen she was gone ; and it 
was so. Truly as she was respected and esteemed, on all 
sides, it was felt a relief by every one of the family when she 
went back to her mountain-top. They were left to them- 
selves ; they saw what their numbers were ; there was no 
restraint upon looks, words, or silence. Ellen saw at once 
that the gentlemen felt easier, that was enough to make her 
so. The extreme oppression that had grieved and disap- 
pointed her the first few days after John's return, gave place 
to a softened gravity ; and the household fell again into all 
its old ways ; only that upon every brow there was a 
chastened air of sorrow, in everything that was said a tone of 
remembrance, and that a little figure was going about where 
Alice's used to move as mistress of the house. 

Thanks to her brother, that little fioure was an exceedino^ 
busy one. She had in the first place her household duties, 
in discharging which she was perfectly untiring. From the 
cream skimmed for Margery, and the cups of coffee poured 
out every morning for Mr. Humphreys and her brother, to the 
famous mending which took up often one half of Saturday, 
whatever she did was done with her best diligence and care ; 
and from love to both the dead and the living, Ellen's zeal 
never slackened. These things however filled but a small 
part of her time, let her be as particular as she would ; and 
Mr. John effectually hindered her from being too particular. 
He soon found a plenty for both her and himself to do. 

Not that they ever forgot or tried to forget Alice ; on the 
contrary. They sought to remember her, humbly, calmly, 
hopefully, thankfully ! By diligent performance of duty, by 
Christian faith, by conversation and prayer, they strove to 
do this ; and after a time succeeded. Sober that winter 
was, but it was very far from being an unhappy one. 

" John," said Ellen one day, some time after Mrs. Vawse 



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199 



had left them, — " do you think Mr. Humphreys would let 
me go into his study every day when he is out, to put it in 
order and dust the books ?" 

" Certainly. But why does not Mai^ery do it ?" 

" She does I believe, but she never used to ; and I should 
like to do it very much if I was sure he would not dislike it, 
I wouJd be cai-efui not to disturb anything ; I would leave 
everything just as I found it." 

" You may go when you please, ^ind do what you please 
there, Ellie." 

" But I don't like to — I couldn't without speaking to him 
first ; 1 should be afraid he would come back and find me 
there, and he might think I hadn't had leave." 

And 5^ou wish me to speak to him, — is that it ? Cannot 
you muster resolution . enough for tlrat, Eliie ?" 

Ellen was sTitisfied, for she knew by his tone he would do 
what she wanted. 

Father," said John the next morning at breakfast ; — 
Ellen wishes to take upon herself the daily care of your 
study, but she is afraid to venture without being assured it will 
please you to see her there," 

The old gentleman laid his hand affectionately on Ellen's 
head, and told her she was welcome to come and go when 
she would ; — the whole house was hers. 

The grave kindness and tenderness of the tone and action 
spoiled Ellen's breakfast She could not look at anybody 
nor hold her head up for the rest of the time. 

As Alice had anticipated, her brother was called to take 
the charge of a church at Randolph, and at the same time 
another more distant was offered him. He refused them 
both, rightly judging that his place for the present was at 
home. But the call from Randolph being pressed upon him 
very much, he at length agreed to preach for them during 
the winter; riding thither for the purpose evtry Saturday 
and returning to Carra-carra on Monday. 

As the Vvinter woixb on a grave cheerfulness stole o\t.i Lne 
household. Ellen little thought how much she had to do 
with it. She never heard Margery tell her husband, which 
she often did with great affection, " that that blessed child 
was the light of the house." And those who felt it the 
most said nothing. Ellen was sure, indeed, from the way 



200 



in which Mr. Humphreys spoke to lier, looked at her, now 
and then laid his hand on her head, and sometimes, very 
rarely, kissed her forehead, tlmt he loved her and loved tc 
r.ee her about ; and that her Avish of supplying Alice's place 
was in some httle measure fulfilled. Few as those words and 
looks were, they said more to Ellen than whole discourses 
would from other people ; the least of them gladdened her 
heart with the feeling that she was a comfort to him. But 
she never knew how much. Deep as the gloom still over 
him was, Ellen never dreamed how much deeper it would 
have been, but for the little figure flitting round and filling 
up the vacancy ; how much he reposed on the gentle look 
of affection, the pleasant voice, the watchful thoughtfulness 
that never left anything undone that she could do for his 
pleasure. Perhaps he did not know it himself. She was 
not sure he even noticed many of the little things she daily 
did or tried to do for him. Always silent and reserved, he 
was more so now than ever ; she saw him little, and very sel- 
dom long at a time, unless when they were riding to church to- 
gether ; he was always in his study or abroad. But the 
trifles she thought he did not see were noted and registered, 
and repaid with all the affection he had to give. 

As for Mr. John, it never came into Ellen's head to think 
whether she was a comfort to him ; he was a comfort to her ; 
she looked at it in quite another point of view. He had gone 
to his old sleeping room up-stairs, which Margery had settled 
with herself he would make his study ; and for that he had 
taken the sitting-room. This vras Ellen's study too, so she 
was constantly with him ; and of the quietest she thought her 
movements would have to be. 

" What are you stepping so softly for ?" said he one day, 
catching her hand as she was passing near him. 

** You v/ere busy — I thought you were busy," said Ellen. 

" And what then ?" 

*' I was afraid of disturbing you." 

" You never disturb me," said he ; — " you need not fear 
it. Step as you please, and do not shut tlie doors carefully. 
I see you and hear you ; but witliout any disturbance." 

Ellen found it was so. But she was an exception to the 
general rule ; other people disturbed him, as she had one or 
two occasions of knowing. 



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201 



Of one thing she was perfectly sure, whatever he might be 
doing, — that he saw and heard her ; and equally sui-e that if 
anything were not right she should sooner or later hear of it. 
But this was a censorship Ellen rather loved than feared. In 
the first place, she was never misunderstood ; in the second, 
however ironical and severe he might be to others, and Ellen 
knew he could be both when there was occasion, he never 
was either to her. With great plainness always, but with an 
equally happy choice of time and manner, he either said or 
looked what he wished her to understand. This happened 
indeed only about comparative trifles ; to have seriously dis- 
pleased him, Ellen would have thought the last great evil 
that could fall upon her in this world. 

One day Margery came into the room with a paper in her 
hand. 

Miss Ellen," said she in a low tone, — " here is Anthony 
Fox a^ain — he has brougfht another of his curious letters that 
he wants to know if Miss Ellen will be so good as to write 
out for him once more. He says he is ashamed to trouble 
you so much." 

Ellen was reading, comfortably ensconsed in the corner of 
the wide sofa. She gave a glance, a most ungratified one, at 
the very original document in Margery's hand. Unpromis- 
ing it certainly looked. 

" Another ! Dear me ! — 1 wonder if there isn't somebody 
else he could get to do it for him, Margery ? I think 1 have 
had my share. You don't know what a piece of work it is, 
to copy out one of those scrawls. It takes me ever so long 
in the first place to find what he has written, and then to put 
it so that any one else can make sense of it — I've got about 
enough of it. Don't you suppose he could find plenty of 
other people to do it for him ?" 

" I don't know. Miss Ellen, — I suppose he could." 

" Then ask him, do ; won't you, Margery ? I'm so tired 
of it ! and this is the third one ; and I've got something else 
to do. Ask him if there isn't somebody else he can get to 
do it ; — if there isn't, I will ; — tell him I am busy." 

Margery withdrew and Ellen buried herself again in her 
book, Anthony Fox was a poor Irishman, whose uncouth 
attempts at a letter Ellen had once offered to write out and 
make straight for him, upon hearing Margery tell of hia 
9* 



202 



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lamenting that he could not make one fit to sond home to hia 
mother. 

Presently Margery came in again, stopping this time at the 
table which Mr. John liad pushed to the far side of the room 
to get away from the fire. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," she said, — " T am ashamed to be so 
troublesome, — but tliis Irish body, this Anthony Fox, has 
begged me, and I didn't know how to refuse him, to come in 
and ask for a sheet of paper and a pen for him, sir, — he wants 
to copy a letter, — if Mr. Jolm would be so good ; a quill pen, 
sir, if you please ; he cannot write with any other." 

" No," said John coolly. " Ellen will do it." 

Margery looked in some doubt from the table to the sofa, 
but Ellen instantly rose up and with a burning cheek came 
forward and took the paper from the hand wliere Margery 
still held it. 

Ask him to wait a little while, Marger}^" she said hur- 
riedly, — " I'll do it as soon as I can, — tell him in half an hour." 

It was not a very easy nor quick job. Ellen worked at it 
patiently, and finished it well by the end of the half hour ; 
though Avith a burning cheek still; and a dimness over her 
eyes frequently obliged her to stop till she could clear them. 
It was done, and she carried it out to the kitchen herself. 

The poor man's thanks weie very warm ; but that was not 
what Ellen wanted. She could not rest till she had got ano- 
ther word from her broth ei". lie was busy ; she dared not 
speak to him ; she sat fidgeting and uneasy in the corner of 
the sofa till it was time to get ready foi- riding. She had 
plenty of time to make up her mind about the right and the 
wrong of her own conduct. 

During the ride lie was just as usual, and she began to 
think he did not mean to say anything more on the matter. 
Pleasant talk and pleasant exercise had almost driven it out 
of her head, w^ien as they were walking their horses over a 
level plnce, he suddenly began. 

" By-the-by, you are too busy, Ellie," said he. " Which 
of your studies shall we cut off?" 

" Please, Mr. John," said Ellen blushing, — " don't say 
anything about that! I was not studying at all — I was just 
amusing myself with a book — I was only selfish and lazy." 

" Only — I would rather you were too busy, Ellie." 



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203 



Ellen's eyes filled. 

" I was wrong," she said, — " I knew it at the time, — at 
least as soon as you spoke I knew it ; and a little before ; — 
1 was very wrong !" 

And his keen eye saw that the confession was not out of 
compliment to him merely ; it came from tlie heart. 

" You are right now," he said smiling. *' But how are 
your reins ? 

Ellen's heart was at rest again. 

"01 forgot them," said she gayly, — " I was thinking of 
something else." 

" You must not talk when you are riding, unless you can 
contrive to manage two things at once ; and no more lose 
command of your horse than you would of yourself." 

Ellen's eye met his w^ith all the contrition, affection, and 
ingenuousness that even he wished to see there ; and they put 
their horses to the canter. 

This winter was in many ways a very precious one to 
Ellen. French gave her now no trouble ; she was a clever 
arithmetician ; she knew geography admirably, and was tol- 
erably at home in both English and American history ; the 
way was .cleared for the course of improvement in which her 
brother's hand led and helped her. He put her into Latin ; 
carried on the study of natural philosophy they had begun 
the year before, and which with his instructions was perfect- 
ly delightful to Ellen ; he gave her some works of stronger 
reading than she had yet tried, besides histories in French 
and English, and higher branches of arithmetic. These 
things were not crowded together so as to fatigue, nor hur- 
ried through so as to overload. Carefully and thoroughly 
fihe was obliged to put her mind through every subject they 
wintered upon ; and just at that age, opening as her under- 
standing was, it grappled eagerly with all that he gave her, 
as well from love to learning as from love to him. In read- 
ing too, she began to take new and strong delight. Especial- 
ly two or three new English periodicals, which John sent for 
on purpose for her, w^ere mines of pleasure to Ellen. There 
was no fiction in them either ; they were as full of instruction 
as of interest. At all times of the day and night, in her in- 
tervals of business, Ellen might be seen with one of these ia 
ber hand ; nestled among the cushions of the sofa, or on a little 



204 



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bench by the side of the fireplace in the twihght, where she 
could have the benefit of the blaze, which she loved to read 
by as well as ever. Sorrowful remembrances were then 
flown, all things present were out of view, and Ellen's face 
was dreamingly happy. 

It was well there was always somebody by, who whatever 
he might himself be doing, never lost sight of her. If ever 
Ellen was in danger of bending too long over her studies or 
indulging herself too much in the sofa-corner, she was sure 
to be broken off to take an hour or two of smart exercise, 
riding or walking, or to recite some lesson, (and their reci- 
tations were very lively things) or to read aloud, or to talk. 
Sometimes if he saw that she seemed to be drooping or a 
ittle sad, he would come and sit down by her side or call 
her to his, find out what she was thinking about ; and then, 
instead of slurring it over, talk of it fairly and set it before 
her in such a light that it was impossible to think of it again 
gloomily, for that day at least. Sometimes he took other 
ways ; but never when he was present allowed her long to 
look weary or sorrowful. He often read to her, and every 
day made her read aloud to him. This Ellen disliked very 
much at first, and ended with as much liking it. . She had 
an admirable teacher. He taugfht her hovi^ to manao-e her 
voice and how to manage the language ; in both which he 
excelled himself, and Avas determined that she should ; and 
besides this their reading often led to talking that Ellen de- 
lighted in. Alwap when he was making copies for her she 
read to him, and once at any rate in the course of the day. 

Every day when the weather would permit, the Black 
Prince and the Brownie with their respective riders might 
be seen abroad in the country, far and wide. In the course 
of their rides Ellen's horsemanship was diligently perfected. 
Very often their turning place was on the top of the Cat's 
back, and the horses had a rest and Mrs. Vawse a visit be- 
fore they went down again. They had long walks too, by 
hill and dale ; pleasantly silent or pleasantly talkative, — all 
pleasant to Ellen ! 

Her only lonely or sorrowful time was when John was 
gone to Randolph. It began early Saturday morning, and 
perhaps ended with Sunday night; for all Monday was hope 
and expectation. Even Saturday she had not much time 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 205 



to mope ; that was the day for her great week's mending, 
When John was gone and her morning affairs were out oi 
the way, Ellen brought out her work basket, and estab- 
lished herself on the sofa for a quiet day's sewing, without the 
least fear of interruption. But sewing did not always hinder 
thinking. And then certainly the room did seem very empty, 
and very still ; and the clock, which she never heard the 
rest of the week, kept ticking an ungracious reminder that 
she was alone. Ellen would sometimes forget it in the in- 
tense interest of some nice little piece of repair which must 
be exquisitely done in a wristband or a glove ; and then per- 
haps Margery would softly open the door and come in. 

" Miss Ellen, dear, you're lonesome enough ; isn't there 
something I can do for you ? I can't rest for thinking of 
your being here all by yourself." 

" never mind Margery," said Ellen smiling, — " I am do- 
ing very well. I am living in hopes of Monday. Come and 
look here Margery, — how will that do ? — don't you think I 
am learning to mend ?" 

" It's beautiful, Miss Ellen ! I can't make out how you've 
learned so quick. I'll tell Mr. John some time who does 
these things for him." 

" No, indeed, Margery ! don't you. Please not, Margery. 
I like to do it very much indeed, but I don't want he should 
know it, nor Mr. Humphreys. Now you won't, Margery, will 
you ?" 

" Miss Ellen, dear, I wouldn't do the least httle thing as 
would be worrisome to you for the whole world. Aren't you 
tired sitting here all alone ?" 

" sometimes, a Uttle," said Ellen sighing. " I can't help 
that, you know." 

" I feel it even out there in the kitchen," said Mar- 
gery ; — I feel it lonesome hearing the house so still ; I miss 
the want of Mr. John's step up and down the room. How 
fond he is of walking so, to be sure ! How do you manage. 
Miss Ellen, with him making his study here ? don't you have 
to keep uncommon quiet ?" 

" No," said Ellen, — " no quieter than I like. I do just as 
I have a mind to. 

** I thought, to be sure," said Margery, " he would have 
taken up stairs for his study, or the next ropm, one or t'other ; 



206 



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he used to be mighty particular in old times ; he didn't like 
to have anybody ]ound \vhen he Avas busy ; but I am glad he 
is altered however ; it is better for you, Miss Ellen, dear, 
though 1 didn't know how you was ever going to make out at 
first.^' 

Ellen thought for a minute, when Margery was gone, 
whether it could be that John was putting a force upon his 
hking for her sake, beai ing her presence when he would rather 
have been without it. But she thought of it only a minute ; she 
was sure, when she recollected herself, that however it liap- 
pened, she was no hindrance to him in any kind of woik ; 
that she went out and came in, and as he had said, he saw 
and heard her without any disturbance. Besides he had said 
so ; and that was enough. 

ISaturday evening she generally contrived to busy herself 
in her books. But when Sunday morning came with its calm- 
ness and brightness ; when the business of the week was put 
away, and quietness abroad and at home invited to i*ecollec- 
tion, then Ellen's thoughts w^ent back to old times, and then 
she missed the calm sweet face that had agreed so \vell with 
the day. She missed her in the morning, when the early sun 
streamed in through the empty room. She missed her at the 
breakfast-table, where John was not to take her place. On 
the ride to church, where Mr Humphreys was now her silent 
companion, and every tree in the road and every opening in 
the lanscape seemed to call for Alice to see it with her. Very 
muL-h she missed her in church. The empty seat beside hei-, 
— the unused hym.n-book on the shelf, — the want of her 
sweet voice in the singing, — oh how it went to Pollen's heart. 
And Mr. Humphreys' grave steadfast look and tone kept it 
in her mind ; she saw it w^as in his. Those Sunday mornings 
tried Ellen. At first they were bitterly sad ; her tears used 
to flow abundantly whenever they could unseen. Time soft- 
ened this feeling. 

While Mr. Humphreys went on to his second service in the 
village beyond, Ellen stayed at Carra-carra and tried to teach 
a Sunday school. Slie determined as far as she could to sup- 
ply beyond the home circle the loss that was not felt only 
there. She was able however to gather together but her own 
four children whom she had constantly taught from the be- 
ginning, and two others. The rest were scattei-ed. After 



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her lunch, which having no companion but Margery was now 
a short one, Ellen went next to the two old women that Alice 
had been accustomed to attend for the purpose of reading, and 
what Ellen called preaching. These poor old people had sadly 
lamented the loss of the faithful friend whose place they never 
expected to see supplied in this world, and whose kindness 
had constantly sweetened their lives with one great pleasure 
a week. Ellen felt afraid to take so much upon herself, as to 
try to do for them what Alice had done ; however she re- 
solved ; and at the very first attempt their gratitude and joy 
far overpaid her for the effort she had made. Practice and the 
motive she had, soon enabled Ellen to remember and repeat 
faithfully the greater part of Mr. Humphreys' morning ser- 
mon. Reading the Bible to Mrs. Blockson was easy ; she had 
often done that ; and to repair the loss of Alice's pleasant com- 
ments and explanations she bethought her of her Pilgrim's 
Progress. To her delight the old woman heard it greedily, 
and seemed to take great comfort in it ; often referring to 
what Ellen had read before and begging to hear such a piece 
over again. Ellen generally went home pretty thoroughly 
tired, yet feeling happy ; the pleasure of doing good still far 
overbalanced the pains. 

Sunday evening was another lonely time ; Ellen spent it as 
best she could. Sometimes with her Bible and prayer, and 
then she ceased to be lonely ; sometimes with so many plea- 
sant thoughts that had sprung up out of the employments of 
tlie morning that she could not be sorrowful ; sometimes she 
could not help being both. In any case, she was very apt 
when the darkness fell to take to singing hymns ; and it grew 
to be a habit with Mr. Humphreys when he heard her to come 
out of his study and lie down upon the sofa and listen, suffer- 
ing no light in the room but that of the fire. Ellen never was 
better pleased than when her Sunday evenings were spent 
so. She sung with wonderful pleasure when she sung for 
him ; and she made it her business to fill her memory with all 
the beautiful hymns she ever knew or could find, or that he 
liked particularly. 

With the first opening of her eyes on Monday morning 
came the thought, ''John will be at home to-day!" That 
was enough to carry Ellen pleasantly through whatever the 
day might bring. She genei-ally kept her mending of stock- 



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ings for Monday morning, because with that thought in her 
head she did not mind anytliing. She had no visits from 
Margery on Monday ; but Ellen sang over her work, sprang 
about with happy energy, and studied her hardest ; for John 
in what he expected her to do made no calculations for work 
of which he knew nothing. He was never at home till late 
in the day ; and when Ellen had done all she had to do and 
set the supper-table with punctilious care, and a face of busy 
happiness it would have been a pleasure to see if there had 
been any one to look at it, she would take what happened to 
be the favorite book and plant herself near the glass door ; 
like a very epicure, to enjoy both the present and the future 
at once. Even then the present often made lier forget 
the future ; she would be lost in her book, perhaps hunting 
the elephant in India or fighting Nelson's battles over again, 
and the first news she would have of what she had set her- 
self there to watch for would be the click of the door-lock or 
a tap on the glass, for the horse was almost always left at the 
further door. Back then she came, from India or the Nile ; 
down w^ent the book ; Ellen had no more thouofht but for 
what was before her. 

For the rest of that evening the measure of Ellen's happi- 
ness was full. It did not matter whether John were in a 
talkative or a thoughtful mood ; whether he spoke to her and 
looked at her or not ; it w^as pleasure enough to feel that l:e 
w^as there. She was perfectly satisfied merely to sit down 
near him, though she did not get a word by the hour together. 



CHAPTER XLV. 



Ne in all the welkin was no cloud. 

CUAUCKR. 

One Monday evening, John being tired, was resting in tlie 
corner of the sofa. The silence had lasted a long time. 
Ellen thought so, and standing near, she by-and-by put her 
hand gently into one of his which he was thoughtfully pass- 
ing through the locks of his hair. Her hand was clasped 
immediately, and quitting his abstracted look he asked what 
she had been doing that day ? Ellen's thoughts went back to 
toes of stockings and a long rent in her dress ; she merely 
answered, smiling, that she had been busy. 

"Too busy I'm afraid. Come round here and sit down. 
What have you been busy about ?" 

Ellen never thought of trying to evade a question of his. 
She colored and hesitated. He did not press it any further. 

" Mr. John," said Ellen, when the silence seemed to have 
set in again, — " there is something I have been wanting to ask 
you this great while," — 

" Why hasn't it been asked this great while ?" 

** I didn't quite like to ; — I didn't know what you would 
say to it." 

" I am sorry I am at all terrible to you, Ellie." 

"Why you are not!" said Ellen laughing, — "how you 
talk ! but I don't much like to ask people things." 

" 1 don't know about that," said he smiling ; — " my memory 
rather seems to say that you ask things pretty often." 

" Ah yes, — those things, — but I mean — I don't like to ask 
things when ] am not quite sure how people will like it." 

" You are right, certainly, to hesitate when you are doubt- 
ful in such a matter ; but it is best not to be doubtful when 
I am concerned." 



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" Well," said Ellen, — " I wished very much — I was going 
to ask — if 3^ou would have any objection to let me read one 
of your sermons." 

" None in the world, Ellie." said he smiling, — " but they 
have never been written yet 

" Not written !" 

" No — there is all I had to guide me yesterday." 
" A half sheet of paper ! — and only written on one side ! 
— I can make nothing of this. "What is this? — Hebrew ?" 
" Shorthand." 

" And is that all ! I cannot understand it," said Ellen, 
sighing as she gave back the paper, 

" What if you were to go with me next time ? They want 
to see you very much at Ventnor." 

So do I want to see them," said Ellen ; — " very much 
indeed." 

" Mrs. Marshman sent a most earnest request by me that 
you would come to her the next time I go to Randolph," 

Ellen gave the matter a very serious consideration ; if one 
might judge by her face. 

" What do you say to it ?" 
I should like to go — very much," said Ellen slowly, — 
"but"— 

" But you do not think it would be pleasant ?" 
No, no," said Ellen laughing, — '* I don't mean that ; but 
I think I would rather not." 
- Why ?" 

" O — I have some reasons." 
You must give me very good ones, or I think I shall 
overrule your decision, Ellie." 

" I have very good ones, — plenty of them, — only" — 
A glance, somewhat comical in its keenness, overturned 
Ellen's hesitation. 

*' I have indeed," said she laughing, — " only I did not want 
to tell you. The reason why I didn't wish to go was because 
I thought I should be missed. You don't know how much I 
miss you," said she with tears in her ej^es. 

" That is what I was afraid of ! Your reasons make against 
you, Ellie." 

I hope not ; — I don't think they ought," 

But Ellie, I am very sure my father would rather miss 



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211 



you once or twice than have you want what would be good 
for you." 

1 know that ! I am sure of that ; but that don't alter my 
feeling, you know. And besides — that isn't all." 
" Who else will miss you?" 

Ellen's quick look seemed to say that he knew too much 
already, and that she did not wish him to know more. He 
did not repeat the question, but Ellen felt that her secret was 
no longer entirely her own. 

" And what do you do, Ellie, when you feel lonely ?" he 
•went on presently. 

" Ellen's eyes watered at the tone in which these words 
were spoken ; she answered, " Different things." 

" The best remedy for it is prayer. In seeking the face of 
our best friend we forget the loss of others. That is what I 
try, Ellie, when I feel alone ; — do } ou try it ?" said he 
softly. 

Ellen looked up ; she could not well speak at that moment. 

" There is an antidote in that for every trouble. You 
know who said, ' he that cometh to me shall never hunger, 
and he that belie veth on me shall never thirst.' " 

"It troubles me," said he after a pause, — " to leave you 
so much alone. I don't know that I were not best to take 
you with me every week." 

"■ no !" said Ellen, — " don't think of me. I don't mind 
it indeed. I do not always feel so — sometimes, — but I get 
along very well ; and I would rather stay here, indeed I 
would. 1 am always happy as soon as Monday morning 
comes." 

He rose up suddenly and began to walk up and down the 
room. 

" Mr. John"— 
"What, Ellie?" 

" I do sometimes seek His face very much when I cannot 
find it." 

She hid her face in the sofa-cushion. He was silent a few 
minutes, and then stopped his walk. 

" There is something wrong then with you, Ellie," he said 
gently. " How has it been through the week ? If you can 
let day after day pass without remembering your best friend, 
it may be that when you feel the want you will not readily 



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find him. HoV is it daily, EUie? is seeking his face your 
first concern ? do you give a sufficient time faithfully to your 
Bible and prayer ?" 

Ellen shook her head ; no words were possible. He took 
up his walk again. The silence had lasted a length of tirae 
and he was still walking, when Ellen came to his side and 
laid her hand on his arm. 

" Have you settled that question with your conscience, 
Ellie ?" 

She weepingly answered yes. They walked a few turns 
up and down. 

" Will you promise me, Ellie, that every day when it shall 
be possible, you will give an hour at least to this business ? — 
whatever else may be done or undone ?" 

Ellen promised ; and then with her hand in his they con- 
tinued their walk through the room till Mr. Humphreys and 
the servants came in. Her brother's prayer that night Ellen 
never forgot. 

jSTo more was said at that time about her going to Ventnor, 
But a week or two after John smilingly told her to get all her 
private affairs arranged and to let her friends know they need 
not expect to see her the next Sunday, for that he was going to 
take her with him. As she saw he had made up his mind, 
Ellen said nothing in the way of objecting ; and noAv that the 
decision was taken from her was really very glad to go. She 
arranged everything, as he had said ; and was ready Satur- 
day morning to set off with a very light heart. 

They Aventin the sleigh. In a happy quiet mood of mind, 
Ellen enjoyed everything exceedingly. She had not been to 
Ventnor in several months ; the change of scene was very 
grateful. She could not help thinking, as they slid along 
smoothly and swiftly over the hard-frozen snow, that it loas 
a good deal pleasanter, for once, than sitting alone in the par- 
lor at home with her work-basket. Those days of solitary 
duty, however, had prepared her for the pleasure of this one ; 
Ellen knew that, and was ready to be thankful for everything. 
Throughout the whole way, whether the eye and mind silently 
indulged in roving, or still better loved talk interrupted that, 
as it often did, Ellen was in a state of most unmixed and un- 
ruffled satisfaction. John had not the slightest reason to 
doubt the correctness of his judgment in bringing her. He 



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213 



went in but a moment at Yentnor, and leaving her there, pro- 
ceeded himself to Randolph. 

Ellen was received as a precious lending that must be taken 
the greatest care of and enjoyed as much as possible while 
one "has it. Mrs. Marsliman and Mrs. Chauncey treated her 
as if she had been their own child. Ellen Chauncey over- 
whelmed her with joyful caresses, and could scarcely let her 
out of her arms by night or by day. She was more than 
ever Mr. Marshman's pet ; but indeed she was well petted by 
all the family. It was a very happy visit. 

Even Sunday left nothing to wish for. To her great joy 
not only Mrs. Chauncey went with her in the morning to hear 
her brother, (for his church was not the one the family at- 
tended,) but the carriage was ordered in the afternoon also ; 
and Mrs. Chauncey and her daughter and Miss Sophia went 
with her again. When they returned. Miss Sophia, who had 
taken, a very great fancy to her, brought her into her own 
room and made her lie down with her upon the bed, though 
Ellen insisted she was not tired. 

" Well you ought to be, if you are not," said the lady. "I 
am. Keep away, Ellen Chauncey — you can't be anywhere 
Avithout talking. You can hve without Ellen for half an hour, 
can't ye ? Leave us a little while in quiet." 

Ellen for her part was quite willing to be quiet. But Miss 
Sophia was not sleepy, and it soon appeared had no intention 
of being silent herself. 

" Well how do you like your brother in the pulpit?" she 
began. 

I like him anywhere, ma'am," said Ellen, smiling a very 
unequivocal smile. 

" I thought he would have come here with you last night ; 
— it is very mean of him ! He never comes near us ; he 
always goes to some wretched little lodging or place in the 
town there ; — always ; never so much as looks at Ventnor, 
unless sometimes he may stop for a minute at the door." 

" He said he would come here to-night," said Ellen. 

" Amazing condescending of him ! However, he isn't lijie 
anybody else ; I suppose we must not judge him by common 
rules. How is Mr. Humphreys, Ellen ?" ^ 

•* I don't know, ma'am," said Ellen, — " it is hard to tell ; 



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he doesn't say much. I think he is rather more cheerful 
— if anything — than I expected he would be." 

" And how do you get along there, poor child ! with only 
two such grave people about you?" 

I get along very well, ma'am," said Ellen, with what 
Miss Sophia thought a somewhat curious smile. 

" I believe you will grow to be as sober as the rest of 
them," said she. " How does Mr. John behave ?" 

Ellen turned so indubitably curious a look upon her at this 
that Miss Sophia half laughed and went on, 

Mr. Humphreys was not always as silent and reserved as 
he is now ; I remember him when he was different ; — though 
I don't think he ever was much like his son. Did you ever 
hear about it ?" 

" About what, ma'am ?" 

" all about his commg to this country, and what brought 
him to Carra-carra?" 
No ma'am." 

My father, you see, had come out long before, but the 
two families had been always very intimate in England, and 
it was kept up after he came away. He was a particular 
friend of an elder brother of Mr, Humphreys ; his estate 
and my grandfather's lay very near each other ; and besides, 
there were other things that drew them to each other ; — 
he married my aunt, for one. My father made several 
journeys back and forth in the course of years, and so 
kept up his attachment to the whole family, you know ; 
and he became very desirous to get Mr, Humphreys over 
here, — this Mr, Humphreys, you know. He was the younger 
brother — younger brothers in England generally have little 
or nothing ; but you don't know anything about that, Ellen, 
He hadn't anything then but his living, and that was a small 
one ; he had some property left him though, just before he 
came to America." 

" But Miss Sophia" — Ellen hesitated, — " Are you sure 
they would like I should hear all this ?" 

"Why yes, child! — of course they would; everybody 
knows it. Some things made Mr. Humphreys as willing to 
leave England about that time as my father was to have him. 
An excellent situation was offered him in one of the best 



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215 



institutions here, and he came out. That's abcut — let me 
see — I was just twelve years old and Alice was one year 
younger. She and I were just like sisters always from that 
time. We lived near togethei', and saw each other every 
day, and our two families were just like one. But they were 
liked by everybody. Mrs. Humphreys was a very fine per- 
son, — very ; oh very ! I never saw any w oman I admired 
more. Her death almost killed her husband ; and I think 
Alice — I don't know ! — there isn't the least sign of dehcate 
health about Mr. Humphreys nor Mr. John, — not the slight- 
est, — nor about Mrs. Humphreys either. She was a very 
fine woman !" 

" How long ago did she die ?" said Ellen. 

" Five, — six, seven, — seven years ago. Mr. John had been 
left in England till a little before. Mr. Humphreys was never 
the same after that. He wouldn't hold his professorship any 
longer ; he couldn't bear society ; he just went and buried 
himself at Carra-carra. That was a little after we came 
here." 

How much all this interested Ellen ! She was glad how- 
ever when Miss Sophia seemed to have talked herself out, for 
she wanted very much to think over John's sermon. And as 
Miss Sophia happily fell into a doze soon after, she had a 
long quiet time for it, till it grew dark, and Ellen Chauncey 
whose impatience could hold no longer came to seek her. 

John came in the evening. Ellen's patience and pohteness 
were severely tried in the course of it ; for while she longed 
exceedingly to hear what her brother and the older members 
of the family were talking about, — animated delightful con- 
versation she was sure, — Ellen Chauncey detained her in 
another part of the room ; and for a good pai-t of the evening 
she had to bridle her impatience, and attend to what she did 
not care about. She did it, and Ellen Chauncey did not 
suspect it ; and at last she found means to draw both her and 
herself near the larger group. But they seemed to have got 
through what they were talking about ; there was a lull. 
Ellen waited ; and hoped they would begin again. 

" You had a full church this afternoon, Mr. John," said 
Miss Sophia. 

He bowed gravely. 

" Did you know whom you had among your auditors ? the 



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and were there ;" naming some distinguished 

stranorers in the neio-hborhood. 
" 1 think I saw them." 

" You * think ' you did ! Is that an excess of pride or an 
excess of modesty ? Now do be a reasonable creature, and 
confess that you are not insensible to the pleasure and honor 
of addressing- such an audience !" 

Ellen saw something like a flash of contempt, for an instant 
in his face, instantly succeeded by a smile. 

" Honestly, Miss Sophia, I was much more interested in au 
old woman that sat at the foot of the pulpit stairs." 
That old thing !" said Miss Sophia. 

" I saw her," said Mrs. Chauncey ; — " poor old creature ! 
she seemed most deeply attentive when I looked at her." 

" / saw her !" cried Ellen Chauncey, — " and the tears 
were running down her cheeks several times." 

" I didn't see her," said Ellen Montgomery, as John's eye 
met hers. He smiled. 

But do you mean to say," continued Miss Sophia, " that 
you are absolutely careless as to who hears you ?" 

" I have always one hearer, Miss Sophia, of so much dig- 
nity, that it sinks the rest into great insignificance." 

" That is a rebuke," said Miss Sophia ; — " but nevertheless 
I shall tell you that I liked you very much this afternoon." 

He was silent. 

" I suppose you will tell me next," said the young lady 
laughing, " that you are sorry to hear me say so." 
" I am," said he gravely. 
" Why ?— may I ask?" 

" You show me that I have quite failed in my aim, so far 
at least as one of my hearers was concerned." 
How do you know that ?" 

" Do you remember what Louis the Fourteenth said to 
Massillon ? — Mon pere, j'ai entendu plusieurs grands orateurs 
dans ma chapelle ; j'en ai etc fort content : pour vous, toutes 
les fois que je vous ai entendu, j'ai ete tres mecontent de 
;noi-meme !" 

Ellen smiled. Miss Sophia was silent for an instant. 

" Then you really mean to be understood, that provided 
you fail of your aim, as you say, you do not care a straw 
what people think of you?" 



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21T 



" As I would take a bankrupt's promissory note in lieu of 
told gold. It gives me small gratification Miss Sophia, — 
very small indeed, — to see the bowing heads of the grain that 
yet my sickle cannot reach." 

" I agree with you most heartily," said Mr. George Marsh- 
man. The conversation dropped ; and the two gentlemen 
began another in an under tone, pacing up and down the 
floor together. 

The next morning, not sorrowfully, Ellen entered the sleigh 
again and they set oft' homewards. 

" What a sober little piece that is," said Mr. Howard. 

" ! — sober !" cried Ellen Chauncey ; — ** that is because 
you don't know her, uncle Howard. She is the cheerfuUest, 
happiest girl that I ever saw, — always." 

" Except Ellen Chauncey, — always," said her uncle. 

" She is a singular child," said Mrs. Gillepsie. She is 
grave certainly, but she don't look moped at all, and I 
should think she would be, to death." 

" There's not a bit of moping about her," said Miss So- 
phia. " She can laugh and smile as well as anybody ; though 
she has sometimes that pecuhar grave look of the eyes that 
would make a stranger doubt it. I think John Humphreys 
has infected her ; he has something of the same look him- 
self." 

" I am not sure whether it is the eyes or the mouth So- 
phia," said Mr. Howard. 

" It is both !" said Miss Sophia. " Did you ever see the 
eyes look one way, and the mouth another ?" 

" And besides," said Ellen Chauncey, " she has reason 
to look sober, I am sure." 

" She is a fascinating child," said Mrs. Gillepsie. *' I can- 
not comprehend where she gets the manner she has. I 
never saw a more perfectl}^ polite child ; and there she has 
been for months with nobody to speak to but two gentlemen 
and the servants. It is natural to her, I suppose ; she can 
have nobody to teach her." 

" I am not so sure as to that," said Miss Sophia ; but I 
have noticed the same thing often. Did you observe her 
last night, Matilda, when John Humphreys came in ? you were 
talking to her at the moment ; — I saw her, before the door was 
opened, — I saw the color come and her eye sparkle, but she 
VOL. II. 10 



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did not look towards him for an instant, till you had finished 
what you were saying to her and she had given, as she al- 
ways does, her modest quiet answer ; and then her eye 
went straight as an arrow to where he was standing." 

" And yet," said Mrs. Chauncey, " she never moved 
towards him when you did, but stayed quietly on that side of 
the room with the young ones till he came round to them> 
and it was some time too." 

"She is an odd child," said Miss Sophia, laughing, — 
"what do you think she said to me yesterday? I was talk- 
ing to her and getting rather communicative on the subject 
of my neighbors' affairs ; and she asked me gravely, — the httle 
monkey ! — if I was sure they would like her to hear it ? I 
felt quite rebuked ; though I didn't choose to let her know 
as much." 

" I wish Mr. John would bring her every week," said Ellen 
Chauncey sighing ; "it would be too pleasant to have 
her." 

Towards the end of the winter Mr. Humphreys began to 
propose that his son should visit England and Scotland dur- 
ing the following summer. He wished him to see his family 
and to know his native country, as well as some of the most dis- 
tinguished men and institutions in both kingdoms. Mr. 
George Marshman also urged upon him some business in 
which he thought he could be eminently useful. But Mr. 
John declined both propositions, still thinking he had more 
important duties at home. This only cloud that rose above 
Ellen's horizon, scattered away. 

One evening, it was a Monday, in the twilight, John was 
as usual pacing up and down the floor. Ellen was reading 
in the window. 

" Too late for you, Ellie." 

" Yes," said Ellen, — " I know — I will stop in two 
minutes" — 

But in a quarter of that time she had lost every thought 
of stopping, and knew no longer that it was growing dusk. 
Somebody else, however, had not forgotten it. The two 
minutes were not ended, when a hasid came between her and 
the page and quietly drew the book away. 

"0 1 beg your pardon!" cried Ellen starting up. "I 
entirely forgot all about it !" 



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219 



He did not look displeased ; he was smiling. He drew 
her arm within his. 

"Come and walk with me. Have you had any exercise 
to-day ?" 

" No." 

"Why not?" 

" I had a good deal to do, and I had fixed myself so nicely 
on the sofa with my books ; and it looked cold and disagree- 
able out of doors." 

" Since when have you ceased to be a fixture ?" 

"What! — Oh," said Ellen laughing, — "how shall I ever 
get rid of that troublesome word ? What shall I say ? — I 
had arranged myself, established myself, so nicely on the 
sofa." 

" And did you think that a sufficient reason for not going 
out?" 

" No," said Ellen, " I did not ; and I did not decide that I 
would not go ; and yet I let it keep me at home after all ; — 
just as I did about reading a few minutes ago. I meant to 
stop, but I forgot it, and 1 should have gone on I don't know 
how long if you had not stopped me. I Very often do so." 

He paused a minute, and then said, 

" You must not do so any more, Ellie. 

The tone, in which there was a great deal both of love and 
decision, wound round Ellen's heart, and constrained her to 
answer immediately, 

" I will not— I will not." 

" Never parley with conscience ; — it is a dangerous habit." 
"But then — it was only — " 

" About trifles ; I grant you ; but the habit is no trifle. 
There will not be a just firmness of mind and steadfastness 
of action, where tampering with duty is permitted even in 
little things." 

" I will try not to do it," Ellen repeated. 

" No," said he smiling, — " let it stand as at first. * I wiU 
not,' means something ; ' / will try,' is very apt to come to 
nothing. * I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart !' — 
not * I will try' Your reliance is precisely the same in either 
case." 

" I will not, John," said Ellen smiling. 

" What were you poring over so intently a while ago ?" 



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" It was an old magazine — Blackwood's Magazine, I be- 
lieve, is the name of it — 1 found two great piles of them in a 
closet up stairs the other day ; and I brought this one down." 

" This is the first that you have read?" 

" Yes — I got very much interested in a curious story there ; 
—why ?" 

What will you say, Ellie, if I ask you to leave the rest of 
the two piles unopened ?" 

*' Why, I will say that I will do it, of course," said Ellen, 
with a little smothered sigh of regret however ; — " if you 
wish it." 

" I do wish it, Ellie." 

"Very well — I'll let them alon-e then. I have enough other 
reading ; I don't know how I happened to take that one up ; 
because I saw it there, I suppose." 

" Have you finished Nelson yet ?" 

** yes ! — I finished it Saturday night. O I like it very 
much ! I am going all over it again though. I like Nelson 
very much ; don't you?" 

** Yes — as well as I can like a man of very fine quahties 
without principle." 

" Was he that ?" said Ellen. 

" Yes ; did you not find it out ? I am afraid your eyes were 
blinded by admiration." 

" Were they !" said Ellen. " I thought he was so very fine, 
in everything ; and I should be sorry to think he was not." 

" Look over the book again by all means, with a more cri- 
tical eye ; and when you have done so you shall give me your 
cool estimate of his character." 

" me !" said Ellen. " Well, — but I don't know whether 
I can give you a cool estimate of him ; — however I'll try. I 
cannot think coolly of him now, just after Trafalgar. I think 
it was a shame that Collingwood did not anchor as Nelson 
told him to ; don't you ? I think he might have been obeyed 
while he was living, at least." 

" It is difficult," said John smiling, " to judge correctly of 
many actions without having been on the spot and in the cir- 
cumstances of the actors. I believe you and I must leave the 
question of Trafalgar to more nautical heads." 

" How pleasant this moonlight is !" said Ellen. 

** What makes it pleasant ?" 



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What maJces it pleasant ! — I don't know ; I never thought 
of such a thing. It is made to be pleasant, — I can't tell 
why; can anybody ?" 

" The eye loves light for many reasons, but all kinds of 
light are not equally agreeable. What makes the peculiar 
charm of these long streams of pale light across the floor ? 
and the shadowy brightness without?" 

You must tell," said Ellen ; " I cannot." 

" You know we enjoy anything much more by contrast ; I 
think that is one reason. Night is the reign of darkness, 
which we do not love ; and here is light strugghng with the 
darkness, not enough to overcome it entirely, but yet banish- 
ing it to nooks and cornei-s and distant parts, by the side of 
which it shows itself in contrasted beauty. Our eyes bless the 
unwonted victory." 

" Yes," said Ellen, — " we only have moonlight nights once 
in a while." 

" But that is only one reason out of many, and not the 
greatest. It is a very refined pleasure, and to resolve it into 
its elements is something like trying to divide one of these 
same white rays of light into the many various colored ones 
that go to form it ; — and not by any means so easy a task." 

" Then it was no wonder I couldn't answer," said Ellen. 

*' No — you are hardly a full-grown philosopher yet, Ellie." 

" The moonlight is so calm and quiet," Ellen observed ad- 
miringly. 

" And why is it calm and quiet ? — I must have an answer 
to that." 

" Because we are generally calm and quiet at such times ?" 
Ellen ventured after a little thought. 

" Precisely ! — we and the world. And association has 
given the moon herself the same character. Besides that her 
mild sober light is not fitted for the purposes of active em- 
ployment, and therefore the more graciously invites us to the 
pleasures of thought and fancy." 

" I am loving it more and more, the more you talk about 
it," said Ellen laughing. 

" And theie you have touched another reason, Ellie, for 
the pleasure we have, not only in moonlight, but in most other 
things. When two things have been in the mind together, 
and made any impression, the mind associates them ; and you 



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cannot see or think of the one without bringing back the re- 
membrance or the feehng of the other. If we have enjoyed 
the moonhght in pleasant scenes, in happy hours, with friends 
that we lo\ ed, — though the sight of it may not always make 
us directly remember them, it yet brings with it a waft from 
the feeling of the old times, — sweet as long as life lasts !" 

** And sorrowful things may be associated too ?" said Ellen. 

" Yes, and sorrowful things. — But this power of associa- 
tion is the cause of half the pleasure we enjoy. There is a 
tune my mother used to sing — I cannot hear it now without 
being carried swiftly back to my boyish days, — to the very 
spirit of the time ; 1 feel myself spring over the greensward as 
I did then." 

" Oh I know that is true," said Ellen. " The camellia, the 
white camellia you know, — I like it so much ever since what 
you said about it one day. I never see it without thinking of 
it ; and it would not seem half so beautiful but for that." 
What did I say about it?" 

" Don't you remember ? you said it was like what you 
ought to be, and what you should be if you ever reached 
heaven ; and you repeated that verse in the Revelation about 
* those that have not defiled their garments.' I always think 
of it. It seems to give me a lesson." 

" How eloquent of beautiful lessons all nature would be to 
us," said John musingly, if we had but the eye and the 
ear to take them in." 

" And in that way you would heap associations upon asso- 
ciations ?" 

" Yes ; till our storehouse of pleasure was very full." 
You do that now," -said Ellen. I wish you would teach 
me." 

" I have read precious things sometimes in the bunches of 
flowers you are so fond of, EUie. Cannot you ?" 

" I don't know — I only think of themselves ; except — 
Bomftimes, they make me think of Alice." 

" You know from any works we may form some judgment 
of the mind and character of their author ?" 

" From their writings, I know you can," said Ellen ! — 
from what other works ?" 

" From any which are not mechanical ; from any in which 
the mind, not the hand, has been the creating power. I saw 



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you very much interested the other day in the Eddystone 
lighthouse ; did it help you to form no opinion of Mr, Smea- 
ton?" 

" Why yes, certainly," said Ellen, — ** I admired him ex- 
ceedingly for his cleverness and perseverance ; but what other 
works ? — I can't think of any." 

" There is the lighthouse, — that is one thing. What do 
you think of the ocean waves that now and then overwhelm it ?'* 

Ellen half shuddered. " I shouldn't like to go to sea, John! 
But you were speaking of men's works and women's works ?" 

" Well, women's works, — I cannot help forming some no- 
tion of a lady's mind and character from the way she dresses 
herself." 

" Can you ! do you !" 

" I cannot help doing it. Many things appear in the style 
of a lady's dress that she never dreams of ; — the style of her 
thoughts among others." 

It is a pity ladies didn't know that," said Ellen laughing ; 
— they would be very careful," 

" It wouldn't mend the matter, Ellie. That is one of the 
things in which people are obliged to speak truth. As the 
mind is, so it will show itself." 

But we have got a great way from the flowers," said 
Ellen. 

" You shall bring me some to-morrow, Ellie, and we will 
read them together." 

" There are plenty over there now," said Ellen, looking 
towards the little flower-stand, which was as full and as 
flourishing as ever, — but we couldn't see them well by this 
hght." 

" A bunch of flowers seems to bring me very near the 
hand that made them. They are the work of his fingers ; and 
I cannot consider them without being joyfully assured of the 
glory and loveliness of their Creator. It is written as plainly 
to me in their delicate painting and sweet breath and curious 
structure, as in the very pages of the Bible ; though no doubt 
without the Bible I could not read the flowers." 

I never thought much of that," said Ellen. And then 
you find particular lessons in particular flowers ?" 

"Sometimes." 

" come here !" said Ellen, pulling him towards the flower- 



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stand, — "and tell me what this daphne is like — you need not 
see that, only smell it, that's enough ; — do John, and tell me 
what it is hke !" 

He smiled as he complied with her request, and walked 
away again. 

" Well, what is it ?" said Ellen ; " I know you have 
thought of something." 

" it is like the fragrance that Christian society sometimes 
leaves upon the spirit ; when it is just what it ought to be." 
My Mr. Marshman !" exclaimed Ellen. 

John smiled again. " I thought of him, Elhe. And I 
thought also of Cowper's lines : — 

" ' When one who holds communion with the skies, 
Has filled his urn where those pure waters rise. 
Descends and dwells among us meaner things, — 
It is as if an angel shook his wings !' " 

Ellen was silent a minute from pleasure. 

" Well, I have got an association now with the daphne !" 
she said joyously ; and presently added sighing, — " How 
much you see in everything, that I do not see at all." 

" Time, Ellie, " said John ; — " there must be time for that. 
It will come. Time is cried out upon as a great thief ; it is 
people's own fault. Use him but well ; and you will get from 
his liaud more than he will ever take from you." 

Ellen's thoughts traveled on a little way from this speech, 
— and then came a sigh, of some burden, as it seemed ; and 
her face was softly laid against the arm she held. 

" Let us leave all that to God," said John gently. 

Ellen started. How did you know — how could you know 
what I was thinking of ?" 

•'Perhaps my thoughts took the same road," said he 
smiling. " But Ellie, dear, let us look to that one source of 
happiness that can never be dried up ; it is not safe to count 
upon anythmg else." 

" It is not wonderful," said Ellen in a tremulous voice, — 
"ifl"— 

It is not wonderful, Ellie, nor wrong. But we, who look 
up to God as our Father, — who rejoice in Christ our Saviour, 
— we are happy, whatever beside we may gain or lose. Let 
us trust him, and never doubt that, Ellie." 
" But still"— said Ellen. 



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** But still, we will hope and pray alike in that matter. 
And while we do, and may, with our whole hearts, let us 
leave ourselves in our Father's hand. The joy of the knowl- 
edge of Christ ! the joy the world cannot intermeddle with, 
the peace it cannot take away ! — Let us make that our own, 
Ellie ; and for the rest, put away all anxious care about what 
we cannot control." 

Ellen's hand however did not just then lie quite so lightly 
on his arm as it did a few minutes ago ; he could feel that ; 
and could see the glitter of one or two tears in the moonlight 
as they fell. The hand was fondly taken in his ; and as they 
slowly paced up and down, he went on in low tones of kind- 
ness and cheerfulness with his pleasant talk, till she was too 
happy in the present to be anxious about the future ; looked 
up again brightly into his face, and questions and answers came 
as gayly as ever. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 



Who knows what may happen ? Patience and shuffle the cards ! . . . Perhaps 
after all, I shall same day go to Rome, and come back St. Peter. — Lonopkllow. 

The rest of the winter, or rather the early part of the 
spring, passed happily away. March, at Thirlwall, seemed 
more to belong to the former than the latter. Then spring 
came in good earnest ; April and May brought warm days 
and wild flowers. Ellen refreshed herself and adorned the 
room with quantities of them ; and as soon as might be she 
set about restoring the winter-ruined garden. Mr. John was 
not fond of gardening ; he provided her with all manner of 
tools, ordered whatever work she wanted to be done for her, 
supplied her with new plants, and seeds, and roots, and was 
always ready to give her his help in any operations or press 
of business that called for it. But for the most part Ellen 
hoed, and raked, and transplanted, and sowed seeds, while 
he walked or read ; often giving his counsel indeed, asked 
and unasked, and always coming in between her and any 
difficult or hefivy job. The hours thus spent were to Ellen 
hours of unmixed delight. When he did not choose to go 
himself he sent Thomas with her, as the garden was some 
little distance down the mountain, away from the house and 
from everybody ; he never allowed her to go there alone. 

As if to verify Mr. Van Brunt's remark, that " something 
is always happening most years," about the middle of May 
there came letters that after all determined John's going 
abroad. The sudden death of two relatives, one after the 
other, had left the family estate to Mr. Humphreys ; it re- 
quired the personal attendance either of himself or his son ; 
he could not, therefore his son must, go. Once on the other 
side of the Atlantic, Mr. John thought it best his going should 
fulfill all the ends for which both Mr. Humphreys and Mr. 
Marshman had desired it ; this would occasion his stay to be 



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•prolonged to at least a year, probably more. And he must 
set off without delay. 

In the midst, not of his hurry, for Mr. John seldom was or 
seemed to be in a hurry about anything ; but in the midst of 
his business, he took special care of everything that concerned 
or could possibly concern Ellen. He arranged what books 
she should read, what studies she should carry on ; and 
directed that about these matters as well as about all others 
she should keep up a constant communication with him by 
letter. He requested Mrs. Chauncey to see that she wanted 
nothing, and to act as her general guardian in all minor 
things, respecting which Mr. Humphreys could be expected 
to take no thought whatever. And what Ellen thanked him 
for most of all, he found time for all his wonted rides, and 
she thought more than his wonted talks with her ; endeavor- 
ing, as he well knew how, both to strengthen and cheer her 
mind in view of his long absence. The memory of those 
hours never went from her. 

The family at Ventnor were exceeding desirous that she 
should make one of them during all the time John should be 
gone ; they urged it with every possible argument. Ellen 
said little, but he knew she did not wish it ; and finally com- 
pounded the matter by arranging that she should stay at the 
parsonage through the summer, and spend the winter at 
Ventnor, sharing all Ellen Chauncey 's advantages of every 
kind. Ellen was all the more pleased with this arrangement 
that Mr. George Marshman would be at home. The church 
John had been serving were become exceedingly attached to 
him and would by no means hear of giving him up ; and Mr. 
George had engaged, if possible, to supply his place while he 
should be away. Ellen Chauncey was in ecstatics. And it 
was further promised that the summer should not pass with- 
out as many visits on both sides as could well be brought 
about. 

Ellen had the comfort, at the last, of hearing John say that 
she had behaved unexceptionably well where he knew it was 
difficult for her to behave well at all. That was a comfort, 
from him, whose notions of unexceptionable behavior, she 
knew, were remarkably high. But the parting, after all, was 
a dreadfully hard matter ; though softened as much as it 
could be at the time and rendered very sweet to Ellen's 



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memory by the tenderness, gentleness, and kindness, witlj 
which her brother without checking soothed her grief. He 
was to go early in the morning ; and he made Ellen take 
leave of him the night before ; but he was in no hurry to 
send her away ; and when at length he told her it was very 
late, and she rose up to go, he went with her to the very doo? 
of her room and there bade her good-night. 

How the next days passed Ellen hardly knew ; they were 
unspeakably long. 

Not a week after, one morning Nancy Vawse came into 
the kitchen, and asked in her blunt fashion, 
Is Ellen Montgomery at home ?" 

" I believe Miss Ellen is in the parlor," said Margery dryly. 

" I want to speak to her." 

Margery silently went across the hall to the sitting-room. 
Miss Ellen, dear," she said softly, "here is that Nancy 
girl wanting to speak with you, — will you please to see her ?" 

Ellen eagerly desired Margery to let her in, by no means 
displeased to have some interruption to the sorrowful thoughts 
she could not banish. She received Nancy very kindly. 

" Well, I declare, Ellen !" said that young lady, whose 
wandering eye was upon everything but Ellen herself, — " aint 
you as fine as a fiddle ? I guess you never touch your fin- 
gers to a file now-a-days, — do you?" 

" A file !" said Ellen. 

** You ha'n't forgot what it means, I s'pose," said Nancy 
somewhat scornfully, — " 'cause if you think I'm a going to 
swallow that, you're mistaken. I've seen you file off tables 
down yonder a few times, ha'n't I ?" 

"01 remember now," said Ellen smilinof ; — "it is so lonof 
since I heard the word that I didn't know what you meant. 
Margery calls it a dishcloth, or a floorcloth, or something 
else." 

" Well you don't touch one now-a-days, do you V 

" No," said Ellen, " I have other things to do." 

" Well I guess you have. You've got enough of books 
now, for once, ha'n't you ? What a lot ! — I say, Ellen, have 
you got to read all these ?" 

" I hope so, in time," said Ellen smiling. * Why haven't 
you been to see me before ?" 

*' Oh — I don't know !" — said Nancy, whose roving eye 



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229 



looked a little as if she felt herself out of her sphere. " 1 
didn't know as you would care to see me now." 

•* I am very sorry you should think so, Nancy ; I would 
be as glad to see you as ever. I have not forgotten all your 
old kindness to me when aunt Fortune was sick." 

" You've forgotten all that went before that, I s'pose," said 
Nancy with a half laugh. " You beat all ! Most folks re- 
member and forget just t'other way exactly. But besides, 
I did'nt know but I should catch myself in queer com- 
pany." 

" Well — I am all alone now," said Ellen with a sigh. 
" Yes, if you warn't I w^ouldn't be here, I can tell you, 
What do you think I have come for to-day, Ellen ?" 
" For anything but to see me ?" 
Nancy nodded very decisively. 
"What?" 
" Guess." 

How can I possibly guess ? What have you got lucked 
up in your apron there ?" 

Ah ! — that's the very thing," said Nancy. " Whai have 
I got, sure enough ?" 

" Well, I can't tell through your apron, " said Ellen 
smiling. 

" And / can't tell either ; — that's more, aint it ? Now 
listen, and I'll tell you where I got it, and then you ma)' find 
out what it is, for I don't know. Promise you won't tell any- 
body." 

"I don't like to promise that, Nancy." 
" Why ?" 

" Because it might be something I ought to tell somebody 
about." 

" But it aint." 

" If it isn't I won't tell. Can't you leave it so ?" 
But what a plague ! Here I have gone and done all this 
just for you, and now you must go and make a fuss. What 
hurt would it do you to promise ? — it's nobody's business but 
yours and mine, and somebody else's that won't make any 
talk about it I promise you." 

" I won't speak of it certainly, Nancy, unless I think I 
ought ; can't you trust me ?" 

" I wouldn't give two straws for anybody else's say so," said 



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Nancy ; — " but as you're as stiff as the mischief I s'pose I'll 
have to let it go. I'll trust you ! Now hsten. It don't look 
like anything, does it ?" 

" Why no," said Ellen laughing ; " you hold your apron so 
loose that 1 cannot see anything." 

" Well now listen. You know I've been helping down at 
your aunt's, — did you ?" 

" No." 

** Well I have, — these six weeks. You never see anything 
go on quieter than they do, Ellen. I declare it's fun. Miss 
Fortune never was so good in her days. I don't mean she 
aint as ugly as ever, you know, but she has to keep it in. All 
I have to do if I think anything is going wrong, I just let her 
think I am going to speak to him about it ; — only I have to 
do it very cunning for fear she would guess what I am up to ; 
and the next thinof I know it's all straii^ht. He is about the 
coolest shaver," said Nancy, I ever did see. The way he 
walks through her notions once in a while — not very often, 
mind you, but when he takes a fancy, — it's fun to see ! 1 
can get along there first-rate now. You'd have a royal time, 
Ellen." 

" Well, Nancy — your story ?" 
Don't you be in a hurry ! I am going to take my time. 
Well I've been there this six weeks ; doing all sorts of things, 
you know ; taking your place, Ellen ; don't you wish you was 
back in it ? — Well a couple of weeks since, Mrs. Van took it 
into her head she would have up the wagon and go to Thirl- 
wall to get herself some things ; a queer start for her ; but at 
any rate Van Brunt brought up the wagon and in she got and 
off they went. Now she meant, you must know, that I should 
be fast in the cellar-kitchen all the while she was gone, and 
she thought she had given me enough to keep me busy there ; 
but [ was up to her ! I was as spry as a cricket, and flew 
round, and got things put up ; and then I thought I'd have 
some fun. What d-o you think I did ? — Mrs. Montgomery 
was quietly sitting in the chimney-corner and I had the 
whole house to myself. How Van Brunt looks out for her, 
Ellen ; he won't let her be put out for anything or anybody." 

" 1 am glad of it," said Ellen, her face flushing and her eyes 
watering ; " it is just like him. I love him for it." 

" The other night she was mourning and lamenting at a 



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231 



great rate because she hadn't you to read to her ; and what 
do you think he does but goes and takes the book and sits 
down and reads to her himself. You should have seen Mrs. 
Van's face !" 

" What book said Ellen. 

" What book ? why your book, — the Bible, — there aint any 
other book in the house, as I know. What on earth are you 
crying for, Ellen ? — He's fetched over his mother's old Bible, 
and there it lays on a shelf in the cupboard ; and he has it 
out every once in a while. Maybe he's coming round, Ellen. 
But do hold up your head and listen to me ! I can't talk to 
you when you lie with your head in' the cushion hke that. I 
iia'n't more than begun my story yet." 

" Well, go on," said Ellen. 

" You see, I aint in any hurry," said Nancy, — "because as 
soon as I've finished I shall have to be off ; and it's fun to 
talk to you. What do you think I did, when I had done up 
all my chores ? — where do you think I found this, eh ? youd 
never guess." 

" What is it?" said Ellen 

"No matter what it is;— I don't know; — where do you 
think I found it ?" 

" How can I tell? I don't know." 

" You'll be angry with me when I tell you." 

Ellen was silent. 

" If it was anybody else," said Nancy, — " I'd ha' seen 'em 
shot afore I'd ha' done it, or told of it either ; but you aint 
like anybody else. Look here !" said she, tapping her apron 
gently with one finger and slowly marking oif each word, — 
" this — came out of — your — aunt's — box — in — the closet — 
up stairs — in — her room," 

" Nancy !" 

"Ay, Nancy ! there it is. Now you look ! 'Twont alter 
it, Ellen ; that's where it was, if you look till tea-time." 
" But how came you there ?" 

" 'Cause I wanted to amuse myself, I tell you. Partly to 
plevse myself, and partly because Mrs. Van w^ould be so 
mad if she knew it." 

" Nancy !" 

" Well — I don't say it was right, — but anyhow I did it ! 
you ha'n't heard what I found yet." 



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" You had better put right it back again, Nancy, the first 
time you have a chance." 

" Put it back again ! — I'll give it to you, and then ijou may 
put it back again, if you have a mind. I should like to see 
you ! Why you don't know what I found." 

*• Well what did you find ?" 

" The box was chuck full of all sorts of things, and I had 
a mind to see what was in it, so I pulled 'em out one after 
the other till I got to the bottom. At the very bottom was 
some letters and papers, and there, — staring right in my 
face, — the first thing I see was, ' Miss Ellen Montgomery.' " 
O Nancy !" screamed Ellen, — " a letter for me ?" 

" Hush I — and sit down, will you ? — yes, a whole package 
of letters for you. Well, thought I, Mrs. Van has no right 
to that anyhow, and she aint a going to take the care of it 
any more ; so I just took it up and put it in the bosom of my 
frock while I looked to see if there was any more for you, 
but there warn't. There it is ! — 

And she tossed the package into Ellen's lap. Ellen's head 
swam. 

"Well, good-bye !" said Nancy rising; — "I may go now 
I suppose, and no thanks to me." 

" Yes I do — I do thank you very much, Nancy," cried 
Ellen, starting up and taking her by the hand, — " 1 do thank 
you, — though it wasn't right ; — but how could she ! how 
could she !" 

" Dear me !" said Nancy ; " to a^k that of Mrs. Van ! 
she could do anything. Why she did it, aint so easy to tell." 

Ellen, bewildered, scarcely knew, ovlXj felt, that Nancy had 
gone. The outer cover of her package, the seal of which was 
broken, contained three letters ; two addressed to Ellen, in 
her father's hand, the third to another person. The seals of 
these had not been broken. The first that Ellen opened she 
saw was all in the same hand with the direction ; she threw it 
down and eagerly tried the other. And yes ! there was 
indeed the beloved character of which she never thought to 
have seen another specimen. Ellen's heart swelled with 
many feelings ; thankfulness, tenderness, joy, and sorrow, past 
and present ; — that letter was not thrown down, but grasped, 
while tears fell much too fast for eyes to do their work. It 
was long before she could get far in the letter. But when 



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she had fairly begun it she went on swiftly, and almost 
breathlessly, to the end. 

"My dear, dear little Ellen, 

"I am scarcely able — but I must write to you once more. 
Once more, daughter, for it is not permitted me to see your 
face again in this world. I look to see it, my dear child, 
where it will be fairer than ever here it seemed, even to me. 
I shall die in this hope and expectation. Ellen, remember it. 
Your last letters have greatly encouraged and rejoiced me. 
I am comforted, and can leave you quietly in that hand that 
has led me and I believe is leading you. God bless you, my 
child ! 

" Ellen, I have a mother living, and she wishes to receive 
you as her own when I am gone. It is best you should 
know at once why I never spoke to you of her. After your 
aunt Bessy married and went to New-York, it displeased and 
grieved my mother greatly that I too, who had always been 
her favorite child, should leave her for an American home. 
And when I persisted, in spite of all that entreaties and 
authority could urge, she said she forgave me for destroying 
all her prospects of happiness, but that after I should be 
married and gone she should consider me as lost to her en- 
tirely, and so I must consider myself. She never wrote to 
me, and I never wrote to her after I reached America. She 
was dead to me. I do not say that I did not deserve it. 

" But I have written to her lately and she has written to 
me. She permits me to die in the joy of being entirely for- 
given, and in the further joy of knowing that the only source 
of care I had left is done away. She will take you to her 
heart, to the place I once filled, and I believe fill yet. She 
longs to have you, and to have you as entirely her own, in all 
respects ; and to this, in consideration of the wandering life 
your father leads, and will lead, — I am willing and he is will- 
ing to agree. It is arranged so. The old happy home of 
my childhood will be yours, my Ellen. It joys me to think 
of it. Your father will write to your aunt and to you on the 
subject, and furnish you with funds. It is our desire that 
you should take advantage of the very first opportunity of 
proper persons going to Scotland who will be willing to take 



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charge of you. Your dear friends, Mr. and Miss Humphreys, 
will 1 dare say help you in this. 

" To them I could say much, if I had strength. But 
words are little. If blessings and prayers from a full heart 
are worth anything, they are the richer. My love and grati- 
tude to them cannot " 

The writer had failed here ; and what there was of the 
letter had evidently been written at difierent times. Captain 
Montgomery's was to the same purpose. He directed Ellen 
to embrace the first opportunity of suitable guardians, to cross 
the Atlantic and repair to No — George's street, Edinburgh ; 
said that Miss Fortune would give her the money she would 
need, which he had written to her to do, and that the accom- 
panying letter Ellen was to carry with her and dehver to 
Mrs. Lindsay, her grand mother. 

Ellen felt as if her head would split. She took up that letter, 
gazed at the strange name and direction which had taken 
such new and startling interest for her, wondered over the 
thought of what she was ordered to do with it, marveled what 
sort of fingers they were which would open it, or whether it 
would ever be opened ; — and finally, in a perfect maze, un- 
able to read, think, or even weep, she carried her package of 
letters into her own room, the room that had been Alice's, 
laid herself on the bed, and them beside her ; and fell into a 
deep sleep. 

She woke up towards evening with the pressure of a 
mountain weight upon her mind. Her thoughts and feelings 
were a maze still ; and not Mr. Humphreys himself could be 
more grave and abstracted than poor Ellen was that night. 
So many points were to be settled, — so many questions an- 
sw^ered to herself, — it was a good while before Ellen could 
disentangle them, and know what she did think and feel, and 
what she would do. 

She very soon found out her own mind upon one subject, — 
she would be exceeding sorry to be obliged to obey the 
directions in the letters. But must she obey them ? 

" I have proniised Ahce," thought Ellen ; — " I have pro- 
mised Mr. Humphreys — I can't be adopted twice. And this 
Mrs. Lindsay, — my grandmother ! — she cannot be nice or she 



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wouldn't have treated my mother so. She cannot be a nice 
person ; — hard, — she must be hard ; — I never want to see 
her. My mother ! — But then my mother loved her, and was 
very glad to have me go to her. Oh ! — oh ! how could she ! 
— how could they do so ! — when they didn't know how it 
might be with me, and what dear friends they might make 
me leave ! Oh it was cruel ! — But then they did not know, 
that is the very thing — they thought I would have nobody 
but aunt Fortune, and so it's no wonder — what shall I do ! 
What ought I to do ? These people in Scotland must have 
given me up by this time ; it's — let me see — it's just about 
three years now, — a little less, — since these letters were 
written. I am older now, and circumstances are changed ; 
I have a home and a father and a brother ; may I not judge 
for myself ? — But my mother and my father have ordered 
me, — what shall I do ! — If John were only here — but per- 
haps he would make me go, — he might think it right. And 
to leave him, — and maybe never see him again ! — and Mr. 
Humphreys ! and how lonely he would be without me, — I 
cannot ! I will not ! Oh what shall I do ! What shall I 
do !" 

Ellen's meditations gradually plunged her in despair ; for 
she could not look at the event of being obliged to go, and 
she could not get rid of the feeling that perhaps it might 
come to that. She wept bitterly ; it didn't mend the matter. 
She thought painfully, fearfully, long ; and was no nearer an 
end. She could not endure to submit the matter to Mr. Hum- 
phreys ; she feared his decision ; and she feared also that he 
would give her the money Miss Fortune had failed to supply 
for the journey ; how much it might be Ellen had no idea. She 
could not dismiss the subject as decided by circumstances, 
for conscience pricked her with the fifth commandment. She 
was miserable. It happily occurred to her at last to take 
counsel with Mrs. Vawse ; this might be done she knew 
without betraying Nancy ; Mrs. Vawse was much too honor- 
able to press her as to how she came by the letters, and her 
word could easily be obtained not to speak of the tvfFairs to 
any one. As for Miss Fortune's conduct, it must be made 
known ; there was no help for that. So it was settled ; and 
Ellen's breast was a little lightened of its load of care for that 
time ; she had leisure to think of some other things. 



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Why had Miss Fortune kept back the letters ? EUen 
guessed pretty well, but she did not know quite all. The pack- 
age, with its accompanying dispatch to Miss Fortune, had ar- 
rived shortly after Ellen first heard the news of her mother's 
death, when she was refuged with Alice at the parsonage. At 
the time of its being sent Captain Montgomery's movements 
were extremely uncertain ; and in obedience to the earnest re- 
quest of his wife he dii ected that without waiting for his own 
return Ellen should immediately set out for Scotland. Part of 
■ the money for her expenses he sent ; the rest he desired his 
sister to furnish, promising to make all straight when he should 
come home. But it happened that he was already this lady's 
debtor in a small amount, which Miss Fortune had serious 
doubts of ever being repaid ; she instantly determined, that 
if she had once been a fool in lending him money, she would 
not a second time in adding to the sum ; if he wanted to 
send his daughter on a wild-goose-chase after great relations, 
he might come home himself and see to it ; it was none of 
her business. Quietly taking the remittance to refund his 
own owing, she of course threw the letters into her box, as 
the delivery of them would expose the whole transaction. 
There they lay till Nancy found them. 

Early next morning after breakfast Ellen came into the 
kitchen, and begged Margery to ask Thomas to bring the 
Brownie to the door. Surprised at the energy in her tone 
and manner, Margery gave the message and added that Miss 
Ellen seemed to have picked up wonderfully ; she hadn't 
heard her speak so brisk since Mr. John went away. 

The Brownie was soon at the door, but not so soon as 
Ellen, who had dressed in feverish haste. The Brownie was 
not alone ; there was old John saddled and bridled, and Thomas 
Grimes in waiting. 

" It's not necessary for you to take that trouble, Thomas," 
said Ellen ; — " I don't mind going alone at all." 

" I beg your pardon Miss Ellen, — (Thomas touched his 
hat) — but Mr. John left particular orders that I was to go 
with Miss Ellen whenever it pleased her to ride ; never failing." 

" Did he !" said Ellen ; — " but is it convenient for you now 
Thomas ? I want to go as far as Mrs. Vawse's." 

" It's always convenient, Miss Ellen, — always ; Miss Ellen 
need not think of that at all, 1 am always ready." 



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237 



Ellen mounted upon the Brownie, sighing for the want of 
the hand that used to lift her to the saddle ; and spurred by 
this recollection set off at a round pace. 

Soon she was at Mrs. Vawse's ; and soon, finding her alone, 
Ellen had spread out all her difficulties before her and given 
her the letters to read. Mrs. Yawse readily promised to speak 
on the subject to no one without Ellen's leave ; her suspi- 
cions fell upon Mr. Van Brunt, not her granddaughter. She 
heard all the story, and read the letters before making any 
remark. 

" Now, dear Mrs. Vawse,'' said Ellen anxiously, when the 
last one was folded up and laid on the table, — " what do you 
think ? " 

" I thmk, my child, you must go," said the old lady 
s-teadily. 

Ellen looked keenly, as if to find some other answer in her 
face ; her own changing more and more for a minute, till she 
sunk it in her hands. 

" Cela vous donne beaucoup de chagrin, — je le vols bien," 
said the old lady tenderly. (Their conversations were always 
in Mrs. Vawse's tongue.) 

" But," said Ellen presently, lifting her head again, (there 
were no tears) — " I cannot go without money." 

" That can be obtained without any difficulty." 

" From whom ? I cannot ask aunt Fortune for it, Mrs. 
Vawse ; I could not do it !" 

" There is no difficulty about the money. Show your let- 
ters to Mr. Humphrey sj' 

"01 cannot !" said Ellen, covering her face again. 

*• WiH you let me do it ? I will speak to him if you per- 
mit me." 

** But what use ? He ought not to give me the money, Mrs. 
Vawse ? It would not be right ; and to show him the let- 
ters would be like asking him for it. I can't bear to do 
that !" 

" He would give it you, Ellen, with the greatest plea- 
sure." 

*' Oh no, Mrs. Vawse," said Ellen, bursting into tears, — 
*' he would never be pleased to send me away from him ! I 
know — I know — he would miss me. O what shall 1 do !" 
"Not that, my dear Ellen," said the old lady, coming to 



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ber and gently stroking her head with both hands. " You 
must do what is right ; and you know it cannot be but that 
will be the best and happiest for you in the end." 

"01 wish — I wish," exclaimed Ellen from the bottom of 
her heart, — " those letters had never been found !" 

" Nay, Ellen, thai is not right." 

" But I promised Alice, Mrs. Vawse ; ought I go away 
and leave him ? 0, Mrs. Vawse, it is very hard ! Ought I ?" 

" Your father and your mother have said it, my child." 

" But they never would have said it if they had known ?" 

** But they did not know, Ellen ; and here it is." 

Ellen wept violently, regardless of the caresses and sooth- 
ing words which her old friend lavished upon her. 

" There is one thing !" said she at last, raising her head, — 
" I don't know of anybody going to Scotland, and I am not 
likely to ; and if I only do not before autumn, — that is not a 
good time to go, and then comes winter." 

'* My dear Ellen !" said Mrs. Vawse sorrowfully, " I must 
drive you from your last hope. Don't you knoAV that Mrs. 
Gillespie is going abroad with all her family ? — next month I 
think." 

Ellen grew pale for a minute, and sat holding bitter coun- 
sel with her own heart. Mrs. Vawse hardly knew what to 
say next. 

" You need not feel uneasy about your journeying ex- 
penses," she remarked after a pause ; — " you can easily repay 
them, if you wish, when you reach your friends in Scotland,'* 

Ellen did not hear her. She looked up with an odd ex- 
pression of determination in her face, determination taking 
its stand upon difficulties. 

" I sha'n't stay there, Mrs. Vawse, if I go ! — I shall go, I 
suppose, if I must ; but do you think anything will keep me 
there ? Never !" 

" You will stay for the same reason that you go for, Ellen ; 
to do your duty." 

" Yes, till I am old enough to choose for myself, Mrs. 
Vawse, and then I shall come back ; if they will let me." 
Whom do you mean by * they ?' " 

" Mr. Humphreys and Mr. John." 

" My dear Ellen," said the old lady kindly, " be satisfied 
with doing your duty now ; leave the future. While you foi- 



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239 



low him, God will be your friend ; is not that enough ? and 
all things sliall work for your good. You do not know what 
you will wish when the time comes you speak of. You do 
not know what new friends you may find to love." 

Ellen had in her own heart the warrant for what she had 
said and what she saw by her smile Mrs, Vawse doubted ; 
but she disdained to assert what §]ie could bring nothing to 
prove. She took a sorrowful leave of her old friend and re- 
turned home. 

After dinner, when Mr. Humphreys was about goiiig back 
to his study, Ellen timidly stopped him and gave him her 
letters, and asked him to look at them some time when he had 
leisure. She told him also where they were found and how 
long they had lain there, and that Mrs. Vawse had said she 
ought to show them to him." 

She guessed he would read them at once, — and she waited 
with a beating heart. In a little while she heard his step 
coming back along the hall, fie came and sat down by her 
on the sofa and took her hand. 

" What is your Avish in this matter, my child?" he said 
gravely and cheerfully. 

Ellen's look answered that. 

" I will do whatever you say I must, sir," she said faintly. 

" I dare not ask myself what / would wish, Ellen ; the 
matter is taken out of our hands. Y^ou must do your parents' 
will, my child. I will try to hope that you will gain more 
than I lose. As the Lord pleases ! If 1 am bereaved of my 
children, I am bereaved." 

" Mrs. Gillespie," he said after a pause, " is about going 
to England ; — I know not how soon. It will be best for you 
to see her at once and make all arrangements that may be 
necessary. I will go with you to-morrow to Ventnor, if the 
day be a good one." 

There was something Ellen longed to say, but it was im- 
possible to get it out ; she could not utter a word. She had 
pressed her hands upon her face to try to keep herself quiet ; 
but Mr. Humphreys could see the deep crimson flushing to 
the very roots of her hair. He drew her close w^ithin his 
arms for a moment, kissed her forehead, Ellen felt it was 
sadly, and went away. It was well she did not hear him 
sigh as he went back along the hall ; it was well she did not 



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see the face of more settled gravity with which he sat down 
to his writinor ; she had enough of her own. 

They went to Ventnor. Mrs. Gillespie with great pleasure 
undertook the charge of her and promised to deliver her 
safely to her friends in Scotland. It was arranged that she 
should go back to Thirlwall to make her adieus ; and that in 
a week or two a carriao-e should be sent to brino" her to Vent- 
nor, where her preparations for the journey should be made, 
and whence the whole party would set oflF." 

" So you are going to be a Scotchwoman after all, Ellen," 
said Miss Sophia. 

*' I had a great deal rather be an American, Miss Sophia." 
Why Hutchinson will tell you," said the young lady, 
** that it is infinitely more desirable to be a Scotchwoman than 
that." 

Ellen's face, however, looked so little inclined to be merry 
that she took up the subject in another tone. 

" Seriously, do you know," said she, " I have been think- 
ing it is a very happy thing for you. I don't know what 
would become of you alone in that great parsonage house. 
You would mope yourself to death in a little while ; especially 
now that Mr. John is gone." 

''He will be back," said Ellen. 

" Yes but what if he is ? he can't stay at Thirlwall, child. 
He can't live thirty miles from his church you know. Did 
you think he would ? They think all the world of him 
already. I expect they'll barely put up with Mr. George 
while he is gone ; — they will want Mr. John all to themselves 
when he comes back, you may rely on that. What are you 
thinking of, child ?" 

For Ellen's eyes were sparkling with two or three tboughts 
which Miss Sophia could not read. 

" I should like to know what you are smiling at," she said 
with some curiosity. But the smile was almost immediately 
quenched in tears. 

Notwithstanding Miss Sophia's discouraging talk, Ellen pri- 
vatel}'- agreed with Ellen Chauncey that the Brownie should 
be sent to her to keep and use as her own, till his mistress 
should come hack ; both children being entirely of opinion 
that the arrangement was a most unexceptionable one. 

It was not forgotten that the lapse of three years since the 



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241 



date of the letters left some uncertainty as to the present 
state of affairs among Ellen's friends in Scotland ; but this 
doubt was not thought sufficient to justify her letting pass so 
excellent an opportunity of making the journey. Especially 
as Captain Montgomery's letter spoke of an uncle, to whom 
equally with her grandmother, Ellen was to be consigned. 
In case circumstances would permit it, Mrs. Gillespie engaged 
to keep Ellen with her, and bring her home to America when 
she herself should return. 

And in little more than a month they were gone ; adieus 
and preparations and all were over, Ellen's parting with 
Mrs. Vawse was very tender and very sad ; — with Mr. Van 
Brunt, extremely and gratefully aff"ectionate, on both sides ; — 
with her aunt, constrained and brief; — with Margery very 
sorrowful indeed. But Ellen's longest and most lingering 
adieu was to Captain Parry, the old grey cat. For one 
whole evening she sat with him in her arms ; and over poor 
pussy were shed the tears that fell for many better loved 
and better deserving personages, as well as those not a few 
that were wept for him. Since Alice's death Parry had 
transferred his entire confidence and esteem to Ellen ; wheth- 
er from feeling a want, or because love and tenderness had 
taught her the touch and the tone that were fitted to win 
his regard. Only John shared it. Ellen was his chief 
favorite and almost constant companion. And bitterer tears 
Ellen shed at no time than that evening before she went 
away, over the old cat. She could not distress kitty with 
her distress, nor weary him with the calls upon his sympa- 
thy, though indeed it is true that he sundry times poked his 
nose up wonderingly and caressingly in her face. She had 
no remonstrance or interruption to fear ; and taking pussy as 
the emblem and representative of the whole household, Ellen 
wept them all over him ; with a tenderness and a bitterness 
that were somehow intensified by the sight of the grey coat, 
and white paws, and kindly face, of her unconscious old 
brute friend. 

The old people at Carra-carra were taken leave of ; the 
Brownie too, with great difficulty. And Nancy. 

" I'm real sorry you are going, Ellen," said she ; — ''you're 
the only soul in town I care about. I wish I'd thrown 
them letters in the fire after all ! Who'd ha' thought it !" 

VOL. II. 11 



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Ellen could not help in her heart echoing the wish. 

" I'm real sorry, Ellen, she repeated. Aint there some- 
thing I can do for you when you are gone ?" 

" yes, dear Nancy," said Ellen, weeping, — " if you 
•Vfould only take care of your dear grandmother. She is 
left alone now. If you would only take care of her, and 
read your Bible, and be good, Nancy, — Oh Nancy, Nancy ! 
do, do ! 

They kissed each other, and Nancy went away fairly 
crying. 

Mrs. Marshman's own woman, a steady excellent person, 
had come in the carriage for Ellen. And the next morn- 
ing early after breakfast, when everything else was ready, 
she went into Mr. Humphreys' study to bid the last dreaded 
good-bye. She thought her obedience was costing her 
dear. 

It was nearly a silent parting. He held her a long time 
in his arms ; and there Ellen bitterly thought her place 
ought to be. What have I to do to st-ek new relations ?" 
she said to herself. But she Avas speechless ; till gently re- 
laxing his hold he tenderly smoothed back her disordered 
hair, and kissing her, said a very few grave words of blessing 
and counsel. Ellen gathered all her strength together then, 
for she had something that must be spoken. 

" Sir," said she, falling on her knees before him and look- 
ing up in his face, — " this don't alter — you do not take back 
what you said, do you?" 

"What that 1 said, my child ?" 

•* That," said Ellen, hiding her face in her hands on his 
knee, and scarce able to speak with great effort, — " that 
which you said when I first came — that which you said — 
about " — 

" About what, my dear child ?" 
My going away don't change anything, does it sir ? 
Mayn't 1 come back, if ever I can ?" 

He raised her up and drew her close to his bosom 
again. 

" My dear little daughter," said he, " you cannot be so 
glad to come back as my arms and my heart will be to re- 
ceive you. I scarce dare hope to see that day, but all in 
this house is yours, dear Ellen, as well when in Scotland as 



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243 



here. I take back nothing, my daughter. Nothing is 
changed," 

A word or two more of affection and blessing, which 
Ellen was utterly unable to answer in any way, — and she 
went to the carriage ; with one drop of cordial in her heart, 
that she fed upon a long while. " He called me his daugh- 
ter ! — he never said that before since Alice died ! so I 
will be as long as I live, if I find fifty new relations. But 
what good will a daughter three thousand miles off do 
him !" 



CHAPTER XLVII 



Speed. lt€n . She is proud. 

Laun. Out with that ; — it was Eve's legacy, ^nd cannot be ta'en from her. 

Shakspkarb. 

The voyage was peaceful and prosperous ; in due time the 
whole party found tliemselves safe in London. Ever since 
they set out Ellen had been constantly gaining on Mrs. Gil- 
lespie's good will ; the Major hardly saw her but she had 
something to say about that " best-bred child in the world." 
" Best hearted too, I think," said the Major ; and even Mrs. 
Gillespie owned that there was something more than good- 
breeding in Ellen's politeness. She had good trial of it ; 
Mrs. Gillespie was much longer ailing than any of the party ; 
and when Ellen got well, it was her great pleasure to devote 
herself to the service of the only member of the Marshman 
family now within her reach. She could never do too much. 
She watched by her, read to her, was quick to see and per- 
form all the little offices of attention and kindness where a 
servant's hand is not so acceptable ; and withal never was in 
the way nor put hei-self forward. Mrs. Gillespie's own daugh- 
ter was much less helpful. Both she and WiUiam, however, 
had long since forgotten the old grudge, and treated Ellen as 
well as they did anybody ; rather better. Major Gillespie 
was attentive and kind as possible to the gentle, well-behaved 
little body that was always at his wife's pillow ; and even 
Lester, the maid, told one of her friends " she was such a 
sweet little lady that it was a pleasure and gratification to 
do anything for her." Lester acted this out ; and in her 
kindly disposition Ellen found very substantial comfort 
and benefit throughout the voyage. 

Mrs. Gillespie told her husband she should be rejoiced if it 
turned out that they might keep Ellen with them and carry 



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245 



her back to America ; she only Avished it were not for Mr. 
Humphreys but herself. As their destination was not now 
Scotland, but Paris, it was proposed to write to Ellen's friends 
to ascertain whether any change had occurred, or whether 
they still wished to receive her. This however was rendered 
unnecessary. They were scarcely established in their hotel, 
when a gentleman from Edinburgh, an intimate friend of the 
Ventnor family, and whom Ellen herself had more than once 
met there, came to see them. Mrs. Gillespie bethought her- 
self to make inquiries of him. 

" Do you happen to know a family of Lindsays, in Georges 
street, Mr. Dundas ?" 

" Lindsays ? yes, perfectly well. Do you know them ?" 

" No ; but I am very much interested in one of the famih''. 
Is the old lady living ?" 

Yes, certainly ; — not very old either — not above sixty, or 
sixty-five ; and as hale and alert as at forty. A very fine old 
lady." 

" A large family ?" 
no ; Mr. Lindsay is a widower this some years, with no 
children ; and there is a widowed daughter lately come home, 
—Lady Keith ;— that's all." 

" Mr. Lindsay — that is, the son ?" 

" Yes. You would like them. They are excellent people 
— excellent family — wealthy — beautiful country seat on the 
south bank of the Tyne, some miles out of Edinburgh ; I was 
down there two weeks ago ; — entertain most handsomely and 
agreeably, two things that do not always go together. You 
meet a pleasanter circle nowhere than at Lindsay's." 

" And that is the whole family ?" said Mrs. Gillespie. 

" That is all. There were two daughters married to 
America some dozen or so years ago. Mrs. Lindsay took it 
very hard I believe, but she bore up, and bears up now, as if 
misfortune had never crossed her path ; though the death of 
Mr. Lindsay's wife and son was another great blow. I don't 
believe there is a grey hair in her head at this moment. 
There is some peculiarity about them perhaps, — some pride 
too; — but that is an amiable weakness," he added laughing, 
as he rose to go ; — " Mrs. Gillespie, I am sure will not find 
fault with them for it." 

"That's an insinuation, Mr. Dundas; but look here, what 



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I am bringing to Mrs. Lindsay in the shape of a grand- 
daughter/* 

" What my old acquaintance Miss Ellen ! is it possible ! — 
My dear madam, if you had such a treasure for sale, they 
would pour half their fortune into your lap to purchase it, 
and the other half at her feet." 

** I would not take it, Mr. Dundas." 

" It would be no mean price, I assure you, in itself, how- 
ever it might be comparatively. I give Miss Ellen joy." 
Miss Ellen took none of his giving. 

" Ah, Ellen, my dear," said Mrs. Gillespie when he was 
gone, — "we shall never have you back in America again. I 
give up all hopes of it. Why do you look so solemn, my 
love ? You are a strange child ; most girls would be de- 
lighted at such a prospect opening before them.*' 
You forget what I leave, Mrs. Gillespie." 
So will you, my love, in a few days ; though I love you 
for remembering so well those that have been kind to you. 
But you don't realize yet what is before you." 

" Why you'll have a good time, Ellen," said Marianne ; — 
I wonder you are not out of your wits with joy. / should 
be." 

" You may as well make over the Brownie to me, Ellen/* 
said William ; — " I expect you'll never want him again." 

" I cannot, you know, W^illiam ; 1 lent him to Ellen 
Chauncey." 

''Lent hira ! — that's a good one. For how long ?" 

Ellen smiled, though sighing inwardly to see how very 
much narrowed was her prospect of ever mounting him 
again. She did not care to explain herself to those around 
her. Still, at the very bottom of her heart lay two thoughts, 
in which her hope refuged itself. One was a peculiar assu- 
rance that whatever her brother pleased, nothing could hin- 
der him from accomplishing ; the other, a like confidence 
that it would not please him to leave his little sister unlooked- 
after. But all began to grow misty, and it seemed now as if 
Scotland must henceforth be the limit of her horizon. 

Leaving their children at a relation's house, Major and 
Mrs, Gillespie accompanied her to the north. They traveled 
post, and arriving in the evening at Edinburgh put up at a hotel 
in Prince's street. It was agreed that Ellen should not seek her 



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247 



new home till the morrow ; she should eat one more supper 
and breakfast with her old friends, and have a night's rest, 
first. She was very glad of it. The Major and Mi-s. Gilles- 
pie were enchanted with tlie noble view from their parlor 
windows ; while they were eagerly conversing together, Ellen 
sat alone at the other window, looking out upon the curious 
Old Town, There was all the fascination of novelty and 
beauty about that singular picturesque mass of buildings, in 
its sober coloring, growing more sober as the twilight fell ; 
and just before outlines were lost in the dusk, lights began 
feebly to twinkle here and there, and grew brighter and more 
as the night came on, till their brilliant multitude were all 
that could be seen where the curious jumble of chimneys and 
liouse-tops and crooked ways had shown a little before. El- 
len sat watching this lighting up of the Old Town, feeling 
strangely that she was in the midst of new scenes indeed, en- 
tering upon a new stage of life ; and having some difficulty to 
persuade herself that she was really Ellen Montgomery. 'J'he 
scene of extreme beauty before her seemed rather to increase 
the confusion and sadness of her mind. Happily, joyfully, 
Ellen remembered, as she sat gazing over the darkening city 
and its brightening lights, that there was One near her who 
could not change ; that Scotland was no remove fi-om him ; 
that h\s providence as well as his heaven was over her 
there ; that there, not less than in America, she was his 
child. She rejoiced, as she sat in her dusky window, over 
his words of assurance, " I am the good shepherd, and know 
my sheep, and am knov/n of mine and she looked up into 
the clear sky, (that at least was homelike,) in tearful thank- 
fulness, and with earnest prayer that she might be kept from 
evil. Ellen guessed she might have special need to olfer that 
prayer. And as again her eye wandered over the singular 
bright spectacle that kept reminding her she was a stranger 
in a strange place, her heart joyfully leaned upon another 
loved sentence, — " This God is our God for ever and ever ; 
he will be our guide even unto death." 
She was called from her window to supper. 
Why how well you look," said Mrs. Gillespie ; '* I ex- 
pected you would have been half tired to death. Doesn't 
she look well ?" 



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'* As if she were neitlier tired, hungry, nor sleepy," said 
Major Gillespie kindly ; — " and yet she must be all three." 

Ellen was all three. But she had the rest of a quiet 
mind. 

In the same quiet mind, a little fluttered and anxious now, 
she set out in the post-chaise the next morning with her kind 
friends to No. — Georges street. It Avas their intention, 
after leaving her, to go straight on to England. They weie 
in a hurry to be there ; and Mrs. Gillespie judged that the 
presence of a stranger at the meeting between Ellen and her 
relations would be desired by none of the parties. But when 
they reached the house they found the family were not at 
home ; they were in the country — at their place on the Tyne. 
The direction w^as obtained, and the horses' heads turned 
that way. After a drive of some lengthy through what kind 
of a country Ellen could hardly have told, they arrived at 
the place. 

It was beauti-fully situated ; and through well-kept grounds 
they drove up to a large, rather old-fashioned, substantial- 
looking house. " The ladies were at home ;" and that ascer- 
tained, Ellen took a kind leave of Mrs. Gillespie, shook hands 
with the Major at the door, and was left alone, for the second 
time in her life, to make her acquaintance with new and un- 
tried friends. She stood for one second looking after the 
retreating carriage, — one swift thought went to her adopted 
father and brotlierfar away, — one to her Friend in heaven, — 
and Ellen quietly turned to the servant and asked for Mrs. 
Lindsay. 

She was shown into a large room Avhere nobody was, and 
sat down with a beating heart while the servant went up 
stairs ; looking with a strange feeling upon what was to be 
her future home. The house was handsome, comfoi tably, 
luxuriously furnished ; but without any attempt at display. 
Things rather old-fashioned than otherwise ; plain, even 
homely, in some instances ; yet evidently there was no spar- 
ing of money in any line of use or comfort ; nor were reading 
and writing, painting and music, strangers there. Uncon- 
sciously acting upon her brother's principle of judging of 
people from their works, Ellen, from what she saw gathered 
around her, formed a favorable opinion of her relations ; with- 



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249 



out thinking of it, for indeed she was thinking of something 
else. 

A lady presently entered, and said that Mrs. Lindsay was 
not very well. Seeing Ellen's very hesitating look, she added, 
" shall I carry her any message for you ?" 

This lady was well-looking and well dressed ; but somehow 
there was something in her face or manner that encouraged 
Ellen to an explanation ; she could make none. ^ She silently 
gave her her father's letter, with which the lady left the 
room. 

In a minute or two she returned and said her mother would 
see Ellen up stairs, and asked her to come with her. This 
then must be lady Keith ! — but no sign of recognition ? Ellen 
wondered, as her trembling feet carried her up stairs, and to 
the door of a room where the lady motioned her to enter ; 
she did not follow herself. 

A large pleasant dressing-room ; but Ellen saw nothing 
but the dignified figure and searching glance of a lady in 
black, standing in the middle of the floor. At the look w^iich 
instantly followed her entering, however, Ellen sprang for- 
ward, and was received in arms that folded her as fondly and 
as closely as ever those of her ow^n mother had done. With- 
out releasing her from their clasp, Mrs. Lindsay presently sat 
down ; and placing Ellen on her lap, and for a long time 
without speaking a word, she overwhelmed her with caresses, 
— caresses often interrupted with passionate bursts of tears. 
Ellen herself cried heartily for company, though Mrs. Lind- 
say little guessed why. Along with the joy and tenderness 
arising from the finding a relation that so much loved and 
valued her, and along with the sympathy that entered into 
Mrs. Lindsay's thoughts, there mixed other feelings. She 
began to know, as if by instinct, what kind of a person her 
grandmother was. The clasp of the arms that were about 
her said as plainly as possible, " I will never let you go !" 
Ellen felt it ; she did not know in her confusion Avhether she 
was most glad or most sorry ; and this uncertainty mightily 
helped the flow of her tears. 

When this scene had lasted some time Mrs. Lindsay began 
with the utmost tenderness to take off Ellen's gloves, her 
cape, (her bonnet had been hastily thrown oflF long before,) 
and smoothing back her hair, and taking the fair little face \u 
11* 



250 THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



both her hands, she looked at it and pressed it to her own, 
as indeed something most dearly prized and valued. Then 
saying, " 1 must lie down ; come in here, love," — she led her 
into the next room, locked the door, made Ellen stretch her- 
self on the bed ; and placing herself beside her drew her 
close to her bosom again, murmuring, " My own child — 
my precious child — my KUen — my own darling — why did you 
stay away so long from me ? — tell me ?" 

It was necessary to tell ; and this could not be done with- 
out revealing Miss Fortune's disgraceful conduct. Ellen -was 
sorry for that ; she knew her mother's American match had 
been unpopular with her friends ; and now what notions this 
must irive them of one at least of the near connections to whom 
it had introduced her. She winced under what might be her 
grandmother's thoughts. Mrs. Lindsay heard her in abso- 
lute silence, and made no comment ; and at the end again 
kissed her lips and cheeks, embracing her, Ellen felt, as a 
recovered treasure that would not be parted with. She was 
not satisfied till she had di'awn Ellen's head fairly to rest on 
her breast, and then her caressing hand often touched her 
cheek, or smoothed back her hair, softly now and then asking 
slight questions about her voyage and journey ; till exhausted 
from excitement more than fatigue Ellen Tell asleep. 

Her grandmother was beside her when she awoke, and 
busied herself with evident delight in helping her to get off 
her traveling clothes and put on others ; and then she took 
her down stairs and presented her to her aunt. 

Lady Keith had not been at home, nor in Scotland, at the 
time the letters passed between Mrs. Montgomery and her 
mother ; and the result of that correspondence, respecting 
Ellen, had been known to no one except Mi's. Lindsay and 
her son. They had long given her up ; the rather as they 
had seen in the papers the name of Captain Montgomery 
among those lost in the ill-fated T3uc d'Orlcans. Lady Keith 
therefore had no suspicion who Ellen might be. She received 
her affectionately, but Ellen did not get rid of her first im- 
pression. 

Her uncle she did not see until late in the day, w^hen he 
came home. The evening was extremely fair, and having 
obtained permission, Ellen wandered out into the shrubbery ; 
glad to be alone, and glad for a moment to exchange new 



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251 



faces for old ; the flowers were old friends to her, and never 
had looked more friendly than then. New and old both were 
there. Ellen went on softly from flower-bed to flower-bed, 
soothed and rested, stopping here to smell one, or there to 
gaze at some old favorite or new beauty, thinking curious 
thoughts of the past and the future, and through it all taking 
a quiet lesson from the flowers ; — when a servant came after 
her with a request from Mrs. Lindsay that she would return 
to the house. Ellen hurried in ; she guessed for what, and 
was sure as soon as she opened the door and saw the figure 
of a gentleman sitting before Mrs. Lindsay. Ellen remem- 
bered well she was sent to her uncle as well as her grand- 
mother, and she came forward with a beating heart to Mrs. 
Lindsay's outstretched hand, which presented her to this other 
ruler of her destiny. He was very different from Lady Keith, 
— her anxious glance saw that at once, — more like his mother. 
A man not far from fifty years old ; fine-looking and stately 
like her, Ellen was not left long in suspense ; his look in- 
stantly softened as his mother's had done ; he drew her to 
his arms with great affection, and evidently with very great 
pleasure ; then held her off for a moment while he looked at 
her changing color and downcast eye, and folded her close in 
his arms again, from which he seemed hardly wilKng to let 
her go, whispering as he kissed her, " You are m.y own child 
now, — you are my little daughter, — do youknow^ that, Ellen ? 
I am your father henceforth ; — you belong to me entirely, and 
I belong to you ; — my own little daughter !" 

" 1 wonder how many times one may be adopted," thought 
Ellen that evening ; — " but to be sure, my father and my 
mother have quite given me up here, — that makes a difl'er- 
ence ; they had a right to give me away if they pleased. 
I suppose I do belong to my uncle and grandmother in good 
earnest, and I cannot help myself. Well ! but Mr. Hum- 
phreys seems a great deal more like my father than my 
vmcle Lindsay. I cannot help that — but how they would 
be vexed if they knew it !" 

That was profoundly true ! . 

Ellen was in a few days the dear pet and darling of the 
whole household, without exception and almost without hmit. 
At first, for a day or two, there was a little lurking doub't, 
a little anxiety a constant watch, on the part of all hei 



252 



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friends, whether they were not going to find something in 
their newly acquired treasure to disappoint th.em ; whether 
it could be that there Avas nothing behind to belie the first 
promise. Less keen observers, however, could not have 
failed to see very soon that there was no disappointment to 
be looked for ; Ellen was just what she seemed, without the 
shadow of a cloak in anything. Doubts vanished ; and Ellen 
had not been three days in the house when she was taken 
home to two hearts at least in unbounded love and tender- 
ness. When Mr. Lindsay v/as present he was not satisfied 
without having Ellen in his arms or close beside him ; and 
if not there she was at the side of her grandmother. 

There was nothing however in the character of this fond- 
ness, great as it was, that would have inclined any child to 
presume upon it. Ellen was least of all likely to try ; but 
if her will, by any chance, had run counter to theirs, she 
would have found it impossible to maintain her ground. She 
understood this from the first with her grandmother ; and 
in one or two trifles since had been more and more confirmed 
in the feeling that they would do with her and make of her 
precisely what they pleased, without the smallest regard to 
her fancy. If it jumped with theirs, very well ; if not, it 
must yieid. In one matter Ellen had been roused to plead 
very hard, and even with tears, to have her wish, Avhich she 
verily thought she ought to have had. Mrs. Lindsay 
smiled and kissed her, and went on with the utmost cool- 
ness in what she was doino-, which she carried throuo^h, with- 
out in the least regarding Ellen's distress or showing the 
shghtest discomposure ; and the same thing was repeated 
every day, till Ellen got used to it. Her uncle she had 
never seen tried ; but she knew it would be the same with 
him. When Mr. Lindsay clasped her to his bosom Ellen 
felt it was as his own; his eye always seemed to repeat, 
" my own little daughter ;" and in his whole manner love 
was mingled with as much authority. Perhaps Ellen did 
not like them much the worse for this, as she had no sort 
of disposition to displease them in anything ; but it gave 
rise to sundry thoughts however, which she kept to her- 
self; thoughts that went both to the future and the pasi. 

" Lady Keith, it may be, had less heart to give than her 
mother and brother, but pride took up the matter instead; 



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253 



and according to her measure Ellen held with her the same 
place she held with Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay ; being the great 
delight and darling of all three ; and with all three, seemingly, 
the great object in life. 

A few days after her arrival, a week or more, she under- 
went one eveninof a kind of catechisingf from her aunt, as to 
her former manner of life ; — where she had been and with 
whom since her mother left her ; what she had been doing ; 
whether she had been to school, and how her time was spent 
at home, (fee, &c. No comments whatever were made on 
her answers, but a something in her aunt's face and manner 
induced Ellen to make her replies as brief and to give her as 
little information in them as she could. She did not feel 
inclined to enlarge upon anything, or to go at all further than 
the questions obliged her ; and Lady Keith ended without 
having more than a very general notion of Ellen's way of life 
for three or four years past. This conversation w^as repeated 
to her grandmother and uncle. 

" To think," said the latter the next morning at breakfast, 
— " to think that the backwoods of America should have 
turned us out such a little specimen of" • 

" Of what, imcle ?" said Ellen laughing. 

" Ah, I shall not tell you that," said he. 

•* But it is extraordinary," said Lady Keith, — " how after 
living among a parcel of thick-headed and thicker tongued 
Yankees she should come out and speak pure English in a 
clear voice ; — it is an enigma to me." 

"Take care, Catherine," said Mr. Lindsay laughing, — "you 
are touching Ellen's nationality ; — look here," said he, draw- 
ing his fingers down her cheek. 

" She must learn to have no nationaUty but yours," raid 
Lady Keith somewhat shortly. 

Ellen's lips were open, but she spoke not. 

" It is well you have come out from the Americans, you 
Fce, Ellen," pursued Mr. Lindsay ; — *' your aunt does not like 
them." 

" But why, sir ?" 

" Why," said he gravely, — " don't you know that they are 
a parcel of rebels who have broken loose from all loyalty and 
fealty, that no good Briton has any business to like ?" 

" You are not in earnest, uncle ?" 



254 



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" You are, T see," said he, looking amused. " Are you one 
of those tluit make a saint of Georo-e Washinfrton ?" 

o o 

" No," said Ellen, — " 1 think he was a great deal better 
than some saints. But I don't think the Americans were 
rebels." 

" You are a little rebel yourself. Do you mean to say yea 
think the Americans were right?" 

" Do you mean to say you think they were wrong, uncle *? " 

" 1 assure you," said he, " if I had been in the English 
army I should have fought them with all my heart." 

" And if 1 had been in the American army I would have 
fought you with all my heart, uncle Lindsay." 

" Come, come," said he laughing ; — " you fight ! you don't 
look as if you would do battle with a good-sized mosquito." 
Ah, but 1 mean, if I had been a man," said Ellen. 

" You had better put in that qualification. After all, I 
am inclined to think it may be as well for you on the whole 
that we did not meet. I don't know but we might have 
had a pretty stiff encounter, though." 

A good cause is stronger than a bad one, uncle." 

"But Ellen, — these Americans foifeited entirely the char- 
acter of good fj-iends to England and good subjects to King 
George." 

" Yes, but it was King George's fault, uncle ; he and the 
English forfeited their characters first." 

"1 declare," said Mr. Lindsay laughing, "if your sword 
had been as stout as your tongue, I don't know how I might 
have come off in that same encounter." 

" 1 hope Ellen will get rid of these strange notions about 
the Americans," said Lady Keith discontentedly. 

" I hope not, aunt Keith," said Ellen. 

" Where did vou get them ?" said Mr. Lindsay. 

"What, sir ? " 

" These notions ?" 

" In reading, sir ; reading different books ; — and talking." 

" Reading ! — So you did read in the backwoods ?" 

" Sir !" said Ellen, with a look of surprise. 

" What have you read on this subject?" 

".Two fives of Washington, and some in the Annual Reg- 
ister, and part of Graham's United States ; and one or two 
other little thinfrs." 

o 



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255 



** But those gave you only one side Ellen ; you should read 
the English account of the matter." 

" So I did, sir ; the Annual Register gave me both sides ; 
the bills and messages were enough." 

" What Annual Register ?" 

" I don't know, sir ; — it is English ; — written by Burke, I 
believe." 

" Upon my word ! And what else have you read ?" 
" I think that's all, about America," said Ellen. 
" No, but about other things ?" 

"01 don't know, sir," said Ellen smiling ; — " a great many 
books ; — I can't tell them all." 

" Did you spend all your time over your books?" 
" A good deal, sir, lately ; — not so much before." 
" How was that ?" 

" I couldn't, sir. I had a great many other things to do." 
" What else had you to do ?" 

" Different things," said Ellen, hesitating from the remem- 
brance of her aunt's manner the ni^ht before. 
" Come, come ! answer me." 

" I had to sweep and dust," said Ellen coloring, — " and 
set tables, — and wash and wnpe dishes, — and churn, — and 
spin, — and — " 

Ellen heard Lady Keith's look in her, " Could you have 
conceived it !" 

" What shall we do with her ?" said Mrs. Lindsay ; — • 
" send her to school or keep her at home ?" 

" Have you never been to school, Ellen ?" 

" No sir ; except for a very little while, more than three 
years ago." 

" Would you like it?" 

"I would a great deal rather study at home, sir, — if you 
will let me." 

" What do you know now ?" 

"01 can't tell, sir," said Ellen ; — I don't know anything 
very well, — unless — 

" Unless what ?" said her uncle laughing ; — " come ! now 
*or your accomplishments." 

I had rather not say what I was going to, uncle ; please 
don't ask me." 



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** Yes, yes," said he ; — " I sha'n't let you off. Unless 
what?" 

" I was going to say, unless riding," said Ellen coloring, 

" Riding ! — And pray how did you learn to ride ? Catch 
a horse by the mane and mount him by the fence and canter 
off bare-backed ? was that it ? eh ?" 

" Not exactly, sir," said Ellen laughing. 

" Well, but about your other accomplishments. You do 
not know anything of French, 1 suppose ?" 

" Yes 1 do, sir." 

" Where did you get that ?" 
An old Swiss lady in the mountains taught me." 

" Country riding, and Swiss French," muttered her uncle. 
" Did she teach you to speak it ?" 

" Yes sir." 

Mr. Lindsay and his mother exchanged glances, which 
Ellen interpreted, " Worse and worse." 

" One thing at least can be mended," observed Mr. Lind- 
say.. " She shall go to De Courcy's riding school as soon 
as we get to Edinburgh." 

" Indeed, uncle, I don't think that will be necessary." 

" Who taught you to ride, Ellen ?" asked Lady Keith. 

" My brother." 

" Humph ! — I fancy a few lessons will do you no harm," 
she remarked. 

Ellen colored and was silent. 

" You know nothing of music, of course ?" 

" I cannot play, uncle." 

" Can you sing ?" 

" I can sing hymns." 

" Sing hymns ! That's the only fault I find with you, 
Ellen, — you are too sober. I should like to see you a little 
more gay, — like other children." 

" But uncle, I am not unhappy because I am sober." 

" But I am," said he. " 1 do not know precisely what I 
shall do with you ; I must do something !" 

Can you sing nothing but liymns ?" said Lady Keith. 

" Yes ma'am," said Ellen, with some humor twinkling 
about her eyes and mouth,-—" 1 can sing * Hail Columbia]' " 

" Absurd !" said Lady Keith. 



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257 



Why Ellen," said her uncle laughing, — " I did not know 
you could be so stubborn ; I thought you were made up of 
gentleness and mildness. Let me have a good look at you, — • 
there's not much stubbornness in those eyes," he said fondly. 

" I hope you will never salute my ears with your American 
ditty," said Lady Keith. 

" Tut, tut," said Mr. Lindsay, she shall sing what she 
pleases, and the more the better." 

" She has a very sweet voice," said her grandmother. 

" Yes, in speaking, I know ; I have not heard it tried 
ovherwise ; and very nice English it turns out. Where did 
you get your English, Ellen ?" 

" From my brother," said Ellen, with a smile of pleasure. 

Mr. Lindsay's brow rather clouded. 

" Whom do you mean by that ?" 

" The brother of the lady that was so kind to me." Ellen 
disliked to speak the loved names in the hearing of ears to 
which she knew they would be unlovely. 

" How was she so kind to you ?" 

" Oh sir ! — in everything — I cannot tell you ; — she was ray 
friend when I had only one beside ; she did everything for me." 
" And who was the other friend ? your aunt?" 
" No eir." 
'♦This brother?" 

" No sir ; that was before I knew him." 
" Who then ?" 

His name was Mr. Van Brunt." 
"Van Brunt! — Humph ! — And what was he?" 

He was a farmer, sir." 
" A Dutch farmer, eh ? how came you to have anything to 
do with Mm 

" He managed my aunt's farm, and was a great deal in the 
house." 

" He was ! And v/hat makes you call this other yoar 
hrother r 

" His sister called me her sister — and that makes me his." 

" It is very absurd," said Lady Keith, " when they are 
nothing at all to her, and ought not to be." 

It seems then you did not find a friend in your aunt, 
Ellen ?— eh ?'" 



258 



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" I don't think she loved me much," said Ellen in a low 
voice. 

" I am very glad we are clear of obligation on her score," 
said Mrs. Lindsay. 

Obligation ! — And so you had nothing else to depend on 
Ellen but this man — this Van something — this Dutchman ? 
what did he do for you ?" 

" A great deal, sir ;" — Ellen w^ould have said more, but a 
feeling in her throat stopped her. 

" Now just hear that, will you ?" said Lady Keith. Just 
think of her in that farm-house, with that sweeping and dust- 
ing woman and a Dutch farmer, for these three years !" 

" No," said Ellen, — " not all the time ; this last year I 
have been" — 

" Where, Ellen ?" 

"At the other house, sir." 

"What house is that?" 

" Where that lady and gentleman lived that w^ere my best 
friends." 

" Well it's all very well," said Lady Keith, — " but it is 
past now ; it is all over ; you need not think of them any 
more. We will find you better friends than any of these 
Dutch Brunters or Grunters," 

" Oh aunt Keith !" said Ellen, — " if you knew" — But she 
burst into tears. 

" Come, come," said Mr. Lindsay, taking her in his arms, 
— " I will not have that. Hush my daughter. What is the 
matter, Ellen?" 

But Ellen had wnth some difficulty contained herself two or 
three times before in the course of the conversation, and 
she wept now rather violently. 

" What is the matter, Ellen ?" 
Because," sobbed Ellen, thoroughly roused, — " I love 
them dearly ! and I ought to love them with all my heart. 
I cannot forget them, and never shall ; and 1 can never have 
better friends — never! — it's impossible — O it's impossible."' 

Mr. Lindsay said nothing at first except to soothe her ; but 
when she had wept herself into quietneirs upon his breast, he 
whispered, 

** It is right to love these people if they were kind to you, 



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259 



but, as your aunt says, that is past. It is not necessary to go 
back to it. Forget that you were Amei ican, Ellen, — you be- 
long to me ; your name is not Montgomery any more, — it is 
Lindsay ; — and I will not have you call me ' uncle ' — I am 
your father ; — you are my own little daughter, and must do 
precisely what I tell you. Do you understand me ?" 

He would have a " yes" from her, and then added, Go 
and get yourself ready and 1 will take you with me to Edin- 
burgh." 

Ellen's tears had been like to burst forth again at his 
words ; with great effort she controlled herself and obeyed 
him. 

" I shall do precisely what he tells me of course," she said 
to herself as she went to get ready ; — " but there are some 
things he cannot command ; nor I neither ; — 1 am glad of 
that ! Forget indeed !" 

She could not help loving her uncle ; for the lips that kiss- 
ed her were very kind as well as very peremptory ; and if the 
hand that pressed her cheek was, as she felt it was, the hand 
of power, its touch was also exceeding fond. And as she 
was no more inclined to dispute his will than he to permit it, 
the harmony between them was perfect and unbroken. 



CHAPTER XLYIII. 



Bear a lily in thy hand ; 
Gates of brass cannot withstand 
One touch of that magic wand. 

Longfellow. 

Mr. Lindsay had some reason that morning to wisli that 
Kllen would look merrier ; it was a very sober little face he 
saw by his side as the carriage rolled smoothly on with them 
towards Edinburgh ; almost pale in its sadness. He lavished 
the tenderest kindness upon her, and without going back by 
so much as a hint to the subjects of the morning, he exerted 
himself to direct her attention to the various objects of note 
and interest they were passing. The day was fine, and the 
country, also the carriage and the horses ; Ellen was dearly 
fond of driving ; and long before they reached the city Mr. 
Lindsay had the satisfaction of seeing her smile break again, 
her eye brighten, and her happy attention fixing on the 
things he pointed out to her, and many others that she found 
for herself on the way, — his horses first of all. Mr. Lindsay 
might relax his efforts and look on with secret triumph; El- 
len was in the full train of delighted observation. 

" You are easily pleased, Ellen," he said, in answer to one 
of her simple remarks of admiration. 

" 1 have a great deal to please me," said Ellen. 

" What would you like to see in Edinburgh ?" 

" I don't know, sir ; anything you please." 

" Then I will show you a httle of the city in the first 
place." 

They drove through the streets of Edinburgh, both the 
Old and the New Town, in various directions ; Mr. Lindsay 
extremely pleased to see that Ellen was so, and much amused 
at the curiosity shown in her questions, which however were 



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261 



by no means as free and frequent as they might have been 
had John Humphreys filled her uncle's place. 

" What large building is that over there ?" said Ellen. 

" That ? — that is Holyrood House." 

" Holyrood ! — I have heard of that before ; — isn't that 
where Queen Mary's rooms are ? where Rizzio was killed ?" 
" Yes ; would you Hke to see them ?" 
" Oh very much !" 

"Drive to the Abbey — So you have read Scottish history 
as well as American, Ellen ?" 

" Not very much, sir ; only the Tales of a Grandfather yet. 
But what made me say that, — I have read an account of 
Holyrood House somewhere. Uncle — " 

" Ellen !" 

I beg your pardon, sir ; — I forgot ; — it seems strange to 
me," said Ellen, looking distressed. 

" It must not seem strange to you, my daughter ; what 
were you going to say ?" 

" I don't know sir, — 0, I was going to ask if the silver 
cross is here now, to be seen ? 

" What silver cross ?" 

" That one from which the Abbey was named, sir, — the 
silver rood that was given, they pretended, to — I forget now 
what king, — " 

" David First, the founder of the Abbey ? No, it is not 
here, Ellen ; David the Second lost it to the English. But 
why do you say pretended, Ellen ? It was a very real af- 
fair ; kept in England for a long time with great veneration." 

" yes, sir ; I know the cross was real ; — I mean, it was 
pretended that an angel gave it to King David when he was 
hunting here." 

" Well, how can you tell but that was so ? King David 
was made a saint, you know." 

" O sir," said Ellen laughing, " I know better than that; 
I know it was only a monkish trick." 

" Monkish trick ! which do you mean ? the giving of the 
cross, or the making the king a saint ?" 

" Both, sir," said Ellen, still smihng. 

** At that rate," said Mr. Lindsay, much amused, "if you 
are such a skeptic, you will take no comfort in anything at 
the Abbey —you will not believe anything is genuine." 



262 



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" I will believe what you tell me, sir." 
Will you ? I must be careful what 1 say to you then, or 
I may run the risk of losing my own credit." 

Mr. Lindsay spoke this half jestingly, half in earnest. 
They went over the palace. 

" Is this very old, sir ?" asked Ellen. 

" Not very ; it has been burnt and demolished and rebuilt, 
till nothing is left of the old Abbey of King David but the 
ruins of the chapel, which you shall see presently. The 
oldest part of the House is that we are going to see now, 
s built by James Fifth, Mary's father, where her rooms are," 

At these rooms Ellen looked with intense interest. She 
pored over the old furniture, the needlework of which she 
was told was at least in part the work of the beautiful Queen's 
own fingers ; gazed at the stains in the floor of the bed-cham- 
ber, said to be those of Rizzio's blood ; meditated over the 
trap-door in the passage, by which the conspirators had come 
up ; and finally sat down in the room and tried to realize the 
scene which had once been acted there. She tried to ima- 
gine the poor Queen and her attendant and her favorite 
Rizzio sitting there at supper, and how that door, that very 
door, — had opened, and Ruthven's ghastly figure, pale and 
weak from illness, presented itself, and then others ; the 
alarm of the moment ; how Rizzio knew they were come for 
him and fled to the Queen for protection ; how she was with- 
held from giving it, and the unhappy man pulled away from 
her and stabbed with a great many wounds before her face ; 
and there, there ! — no doubt, — his blood fell !" — 

" You are tired ; — this doesn't please you much," said Mr. 
Lindsay, noticing her grave look. 

" it pleases me venj much !" said Ellen, starting up ; — 
"I do not wonder she swore vengeance." 

" Who ?" said Mr. Lindsay laughing. 

" Queen Mary, sir." 

" Were you thinking of her all this while ? I am glad of 
it. I spoke to you once without getting a word. I was 
afraid this was not amusing enough to detain your thoughts." 

" yes it was," said Ellen ; — " I have been trying to think 
about ar that. I like to look at old things very much." 

" Perhaps you would like to see the Regalia." 

"The what, sir?" 



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263 



** The Royal things — the old diadem and sceptre, &c., of 
the Scottish kings. Well come," said he, as he read the 
answer in Ellen's face, — " we will go ; but first let us see the 
old chapel." 

With this Ellen w^as wonderfully pleased. This was much 
older still than Queen Mary's rooms. Ellen admired the wild 
melancholy look of the gothic pillars and arches springing 
from the green turf, the large carved window empty of glass, 
the broken walls ; — and looking up to the blue sky, she tried 
to imagine the time when the gothic roof closed overhead, 
and music sounded through the arches, and trains of stoled f 
monks paced among them, Avhere now the very pavement was 
not. Strange it seemed, and hard, to go back and realize it ; 
but in the midst of this, the familiar face of tlie sky set Ellen's 
thoughts off upon a new track, and suddenly they were at 
home, — on the lawn before the parsonage. The monks and 
the Abbey were forgotten ; she silently gave her hand to her 
uncle and vralked with him to the carriage. 

Arrived at the Crown Room, Ellen fell into another fit of 
grave attention ; but Mr. Lindsay, taught better, did not this 
time mistake rapt interest for absence of mind. He answered 
questions and gave her several pieces of information, and let 
her take her own time to gaze and meditate. 

"This beautiful sword," said he, "was a present from 
Pope Julius Second to James Fourth." 

" I don't know anything about the Popes," said Ellen. 
"James Fourth ? — I forget what kind of a king he w^as." 

"He was a very good king ; — he was the one that died at 
Flodden." 

" 0, and wore an iron girdle because he had fought against 
his father, — poor man !"' 

" Why ' poor man,' Ellen ? he was a very royal prince ; 
why do you say ' poor man ?' " 

" Because he didn't know any better, sir." 

** Didn't know any better than what ?" 

** Than to think an iron girdle would do him any good." 

" But why wouldn't it do him any good ?" 

" Because, you know sir. that is not the way we can have 
our sins forgiven." 

" What is the way ?" 

Ellen looked at him to see if he was in jest or earnest. Her 



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look staggered him a little, but he repeated his question. 
She cast her eyes down and answered, 

" Jesus Christ said, * I am the way, the truth, and the life ; 
no man cometh unto the Father but by me.' " 

Mr. Lindsay said no more. 
I wish that was the Bruce's crown," said Ellen after a 
vhile. " I should like to see anything that belonged to him." 

" I'll take you to the field of Bannockburn some day ; that 
belonged to him with a vengeance. It lies over yonder." 

" Bannockburn ! will you? and Stirling Castle ! — O how I 
should like that !" 

" Stirling Castle," said Mr. Lindsay, smiling at Ellen's 
clasped hands of delight, — " what do you know of Stirling 
Castle ?" 

" From the history, you know, sir ; and the Lord of the 
Isles ; — 

" Old Stirling's towers arose in light — " 

"Go on," said Mr. Lindsay. 

'* And twined in links of silver bright 
Her winding river lay." 

" That's this same river Forth, Ellen. Do you know any 
more ?" 

" yes, sir." 

" Go on and tell me all you can remember." 
" All ; that would be a great deal, sir." 

Go on till I tell you to stop." 
Ellen gave him a good part of the battle, with the intro- 
duction to it. 

" You have a good memory, Ellen," he said, looking 
pleased. 

" Because I like it, sir ; that makes it easy to remember. I 
like the Scots people." 

*' Do you !" said Mr. Lindsay much gratified ; — " I did 
not know you liked anything on this side of the water. Why 
do you like them?" 

Because they never would be conquered by the Eng- 
lish." 

" So," said Mr. Lindsay, half amused and half disap- 
pointed, — the long and the short of it is, you like them be- 



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cause they fought the enemies you were so eager to have a 
blow at." 

" no, sir," said Ellen laughing, " I do not mean that at 
all ; the French were England's enemies too, and helped us 
besides, but I like the Scots a great deal better than the 
French. I like them because they would be free." 

" You have an extraordinary taste for freedom ! And 
pray, are all the x\raerican children as strong repubhcans as 
yourself ?" 

" I don't know, sir ; I hope so." 

" Pretty well, upon my word ! — Then I suppose even the 
Bruce cannot rival your favorite Washington in your 
esteem ?" 
Ellen smiled. 

Eh ?" said Mr. Lindsay. 
" I like Washington better, sir, of course ; but I like Bruce 
very much. 

Why do you prefer Washington?'' 
" I should have to think to tell you that, sir." 

Very well, think, and answer me." 
" One reason, I suppose, is because he was an American/* 
said Ellen. 

" That is not reason enough for so reasonable a person as 
you are, Ellen ; you must try again, or give up your pre- 
ference." 

" I like Bruce, very much indeed," said Ellen musingly, — 
" but he did what he did for himself, — Washington didn't." 

" Humph ! — I am not quite sure as to either of your posi- 
tions," said Mr. Lindsay. 

" And besides," said Ellen, " Bruce did one or two wrong 
things. Washington always did right." 

"He did, eh ? What do you think of the murder of 
Andre?" 

" I think it was right," said Ellen firmly. 
" Your reasons, my little reasoner ?" 

" If it had not been right, Washington would not have 
done it." 

" Ha ! ha ! — So at that rate you may reconcile yourself to 
anything that chances to be done by a favorite." 

♦* No sir,' ' said Ellen, a Uttle confused, but standing her 
VOL. II. 12 



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ground, — " but when a person always does right, if he hap- 
pen to do something that I don't know enough to understand, 
I have good reason to think it is right, even though I cannot 
understand it." 

" Very well ! but apply the same rule of judgment tc the 
Bruce, can't you ?" 

" Nothing could make me think the murder of the Red 
Comyn right, sir. Bruce didn't think so himself." 

" But remember, there is a great difference in the times ; 
those were rude and uncivilized compared to these ; you must 
make allowance for that." 

Yes sir, I do ; but I like the civilized times best." 

" What do you think of this fellow over here, — what's his 
name ? — whose monument I was showing you, — Nelson !" 

" I used to like him very much, sir." 

** And you do not now ?" 

*' Yes sir, I do ; I cannot help liking him." 

" That is to say, you would if you could ?" 

" I don't think, sir, I ought to like a man merely for being 
great, unless he was good. ^Yashington was great and good 
both." 

Well what is the matter w^ith Nelson?" said Mr. Lind- 
say, with an expression of intense amusement ; — " I ' used to 
think,' as you say, that he was a very noble fellow." 

" So he was, sir ; but he wasn't a good man." 

«' Why not ?" 

" Why you know, sir, he left his wife ; and Lady Hamil- 
ton persuaded him to do one or two other very dishonorable 
things ; it was a great pity !" 

" So you will not like any great man that is not good as 
well. What is your definition of a good man, Ellen ?" 

" One who always does right because it is right, no matter 
whether it is convenient or not," said Ellen, after a little 
hesitation. 

" Upon my word, you draw the Hne close. But opinions 
often diff"er as to what is right ; how shall we know ?" 

" From the Bible, sir," said Ellen quickly, with a look that 
half amused and half abashed him. 

" And you, Ellen, — are you yourself good after this nice 
fashion ?" 



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267 



** No, sir ; but I wish to be. 

" I do believe that. But after all, Ellen, you might like 
Nelson ; those were the only spots in the sun." 

"Yes sir ; but can a man be a truly great man who is not 
master of himself?" 

" That is an excellent remark." 

" It is not mine, sir," said Ellen blushing ; — " it was told 
me ; I did not find out all that about Nelson myself; I did not 
see it all the first time 1 read his life ; I thought he was per- 
fect." 

" I know who / think is," said Mr. Lindsay kissing her. 

They drove now to his house in Georges street. Mr. 
Lindsay had some business to attend to and would leave her 
there for an hour or two. And that their fast might not be 
too long unbroken, Mrs. Allen the housekeeper was directed 
to furnish them with some biscuits in the library, whither 
Mr. Lindsay led Ellen. 

She liked the looks of it very much. Plenty of books ; 
old-looking comfortable furniture ; pleasant light ; all man- 
ner of etceteras around which rejoiced Ellen's heart. Mr. 
Lindsay noticed her pleased glance passing from one thing to 
another. He placed her in a deep easy chair, took off her 
bonnet and threw it on the sofa, and kissing her fondly asked 
her if she felt at home. Not yet," Ellen said ; but her 
look also said it would not take long to make her do so. She 
sat enjoying her rest, and munching her biscuit with great 
appetite and satisfaction, when Mr. Lindsay poured her out a 
glass of sweet wine. 

That glass of wine looked to Ellen like an enemy marching 
up to attack her. Because Alice and John did not drink it, 
she had always, at first without other reason, done the same ; 
and she was determined not to forsake their example now. 
She took no notice of the glass of wine, though she had 
ceased to see anything else in the room, and went on, seem- 
ingly as before, eating her biscuit, though she no longer knew 
how they tasted. 

" Why don't you drink your wine, Ellen ?" 

" I do not wish any, sir." 

" Don't you like it ?" 

" I don't know sir ; I have never drunk any." 
" No ! Taste it and see." 



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" I would rather not, sir, if you please. I don't care for 
it." 

" Taste it, Ellen !" 

Tliis command was not to be disobeyed. The blood rushed 
to Ellen's temples as she just touched the glass to her lips, 
and set it down again. 

" Well ?" said Mr. Lindsay. 

" What, sir ?" 
How do hke it ?" 

I like it very well, sir, but I would rather not drink it." 
" Why ?" 

Ellen colored again at this exceedingly difficult question, 
and answered as well as she could, that she had never been 
accustomed to it, and would rather not. 

" It is of no sort of consequence what you have been ac- 
customed to," said Mr. Lindsay. You are to drink it all, 
Ellen." 

Ellen dared not disobey. When biscuits and wine were 
disposed of, Mr. Lindsay drew her close to his side and en- 
circling her fondly with his arms, said, 

" I shall leave you now for an hour or two, and you must 
amuse yourself as you can. The bookcases are open — per- 
haps you can find something there ; or there are prints in 
those portfolios ; or you can go over the house and make 
yourself acquainted with your new home. If you w^ant any- 
thing ask Mrs. Allen. Does it look pleasant to you?" 

" Very," Ellen said. 

'* You are at home here, daughter ; go where you will and 
do what you will. I shall not leave you long. But before I 
go — Ellen — let me hear you call me father." 

Ellen obeyed, trembling, for it seemed to her that it was 
to set her hand and seal to the deed of ffift her father and 

o 

mother had made. But there was no retreat ; it was spoken ; 
and Mr. Lindsay folding her close in his arms kissed her again 
and again. 

" Never let me hear you call me anything else, Ellen. 
You are mine own now — my own child — my own little 
daughter. You shall do just what pleases me in everything, 
and let by-gones be by-gones. And now lie down there and 
rest, daughter, you are trembling from head to foot ; — rest 
and amuse yourself in any way you like till I return." 



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He left the room. 

" I have done it now !" thought Ellen, as she sat in the 
corner of the sofa where Mr. Lindsay had tenderly placed 
her ; — I have called him my father — 1 am bound to obey him 
after this. I wonder what in the world they will make me 
do next. If he chooses to make me drink wine every day, I 
must do it ! — I cannot help myself. That is only a little 
matter. But what if they were to want me to do something 
wrong? — they might; — John never did — I could not have 
disobeyed him, possibly !— but I could them, if it was neces- 
sary, — and if it is necessary, I will ! — I should have a dread- 
ful time — I wonder if I could go through with it. Oh yes, 
I could, if it was right, — and besides 1 w^ould rather bear 
anything in the world from them than have John displeased 
with me ; — a great deal rather ! But perhaps after all they 
will not want anything Avrong of me. I wonder if this is 
really to be my home always, and if I shall never get home 
again ? — John will not leave me here ! — but I don't see how 
in the world he can help it, for my father and my mother, 
and I myself — I know what he would tell me if he was here, 
and I'll try to do it. God will take care of me if I follow 
him ; it is none of my business." 

Simply and heai tily commending her interests to his keep- 
ing, Ellen tried to lay aside the care of herself. She went 
on musing ; how very different and how much greater her 
enjoyment would have been that day if John had been with 
her. Mr, Lindsay, to be sure, had answered her questions 
with abundant kindness and sufficient ability ; but his an- 
swers did not, as those of her brother often did, skillfully 
draw her on from one thing to another, till a train of thought 
was opened which at the setting out she never dreamed of ; 
and along with the joy of acquiring new knowledge she had 
the pleasure of discovering new fields of it to be explored, 
and the delio-ht of the felt exercise and enlaro-ement of her own 
powers, which were sure to be actively called into play. Mr. 
Lindsay told her what she asked, and there left her. Ellen 
found herself growing melancholy over the comparison she was 
di awing; and wisely went to the bookcases to divert her 
thoughts. Finding presently a history of Scotland, she took 
it down, resolving to refresh her memory on a subject which 
had gained such new and strange interest for her. Before 



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long, hovrever, fatigue and the wine she had drunk effectually 
got the better of studious thoughts ; she stretched herself on 
the sofa and fell fast asleep. 

There Mr. Lindsay found her a couple of hours afterwards 
under the guard of the housekeeper. 

" I cam in, sir," she said whispering, — " it's mair than an 
hour back, and she's been sleeping just like a babby ever syne ; 
she hasna stirred a finger. O, Mr. Lindsay, it's a bonny bairn, 
and a gude. What a blessing to the house !" 

" You're about right there, I believe, Maggie ; but how 
have you learned it so fast ?" 

'* 1 canna be mista'en, Mr. George, — I ken it as weel as if 
we had had a year auld acquentance ; I ken it by thae sweet 
mouth and cen, and by the look she gied me when you tauld 
her, sir, 1 had been in the house near as lang's yoursel. An' 
look at her eenow. There's heaven's peace within, I'm a'maist 
assured." 

The kiss that wakened Ellen found her in the midst of a 
dream. She thought that John was a king of Scotland, and 
standing before her in regal attire. She offered him, she 
thought, a glass of wine, but raising the sword of state, silver 
scabbard and all, he with a tremendous swing of it dashed 
the glass out of her hands ; and then as she stood abashed, 
he bent forward with one of his old giave kind looks to kiss 
her. As the kiss touched her lips Ellen opt ned her eyes, to 
find her brother transformed into Mr. Lindsay, and the empty 
glass standing safe and sound upon the table. 

" You must have had a pleasant nap," said Mr. Lindsay, 
"you wake up smiling. Come — make haste — I have left a 
friend in the carriage. — Bring your book along if you Avant it." 

The presence of the stranger, who was going down to 
spend a day or two at "the liraes," prevented Ellen from 
having any talking to do. Comfortably placed in the corner 
of the front seat of the barouche, leaning on the elbow of the 
cai-riage, she was left to her own musings. She could hardly 
realize the change in her circumstances. The carriage rolling 
fast and smoothly on — the two gentlemen opposite to her, 
one her father ! — the strange, varit d, beautiful scenes they 
were flitting by, — the long shadows made by the descending 
Bun, — the cool evening air, — Ellen, leaning back in the wide 
easy seat, felt as if she were in a dream. It was singularly 



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271 



pleasant ; sbe could not help but enjoy it all very much ; and 
yet it seemed to her as if she were cauglit in a net from which 
she had no power to get free ; and she longed to clasp that 
hand that could she thought draw her whence and whither 
it pleased. " But Mr. Lindsay opposite ? — I have called him 
my father — I have given myself to him," sbe thought ; — 
"but I gare myself to somebody else first; — I can't undo 
that — and I never will !" Again she tried to be quiet and 
resign the care of herself to better wisdom and greater 
strength than her own. " This may all be arranged, easily, 
in some way I could never dream of," she said to herself ; 
" I have no business to be uneasy. Two months ago, and I 
was quietly at home and seemed to be fixed there for ever ; 
and novt^, and without anything extraordinary happening, 
here I am, — just as fixed. Yes, and before that, at aunt For- 
tune's, — it didn't seem possible that I could ever get away 
from being her child ; and yet how easily all that was man- 
aged. And just so, in some way that I cannot imagine, 
things may open so as to let me out smoothly from this." 
She resolved to be patient, and take thankfully what she at 
present had to enjoy ; and in this mood of mind, the drive 
home was beautiful ; and the evening was happily absorbed 
in the history of Scotland. 

It was a grave question in the family that same evening 
whether Ellen should be sent to school. Lady Keith was 
decided in favor of it: her -nother seemed doubtful; Mr. 
Lindsay, who had a vision of the little figure lying asleep on 
his library sofa, thought the room had never looked so cheer- 
ful before, and had near made up his mind that she should be 
its constant adornment the coming winter. Lady Keith urged 
the school plan. 

" Not a boarding-school," said Mrs. Lindsay ; — " I will not 
hear of that." 

" No, but a day-school ; it would do her a vast deal of 
good I am certain ; her notions want shaking up very much. 
And T never saw a child of her age so much a child." 

" 1 assure you / never saw one so much a woman. She 
has asked me to-day, I suppose," said he smiling, " a hundred 
questions or less ; and I assure you there was not one foolish 
or vain one among them ; not one that was not sensible, and 
most of them singularly so." 



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" She was greatly pleased with her day," said Mrs. Lind* 
say. 

" I never saw such a baby face in my life," said Lady 
Keith, — " in a child of her years." 

" It is a face of uncommon intelligence !" said her brotler. 
"It is both," said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" I was struck with it the other day," said Lady Keith, — 
" the day she slept so long upon the sofa up stairs after she 
was dressed ; she had been crying about something, and her 
eyelashes were wet still, and she had that curious grave inno- 
cent look you only see in infants ; you might have thought 
she was fourteen months instead of fourteen years old ; four- 
teen and a half, she says she is." 

"Crying?" said Mr. Lindsay; — "what was the matter?" 

" Nothing," said Mrs. Lindsay, " but that she had been 
obliged to submit to me in something that did not please her." 

" Did she give you any cause of displeasure ?" 

" No, — though I can see she has strong passions. But 
she is the first child I ever saw that I think I could not get 
angry with." 

" Mother's heart half misgave her, I beheve," said Lady 
Keith laughing ; — " she sat there looking at her for an hour." 

" She seems to me perfectly gentle and submissive," said 
Mr. Lindsay. 

" Yes, but don't trust too much to appearances," said his 
sister. " If she is not a true Lindsay after all 1 am mistaken. 
Did you see her color once or twice this morning when some- 
thing was said that did not please her?" 

" You can judge nothing from that," said Mr. Lindsay, — 
" she colors at everything. You should have seen her to-day 
when I told her I would take her to Bannockburn." 

" Ah she has got ihe right side of you, brother; you will 
be able to discern no faults in her presently." 

" She has used no arts for it, sister ; she is a straight- 
forward little hussy, and that is one thing I like about her ; 
though 1 was as near as possible being provoked wnth her 
once or twice to-day. There is only one tiling I wish was 
altered, — she has her head filled with strange notions— absurd 
for a child of her age — I don't know what I shall do to get 
rid of them." 

After some more conversation it was decided that school 



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would be the best thing for this end, and half decided that 
Ellen should go. 

But this half decision Mr. Lindsay found it very difficult to 
keep to, and circumstances soon destroyed it entirely. Com- 
pany was constantly coming and going at " the Braes," and 
much of it of a kind that Ellen exceedingly liked to see and 
hear ; inteUigent, cultivated, well-informed people, whose 
conversation was highly agreeable and always useful to her. 
Ellen had nothing to do with the talking, so she made good 
use of her ears. 

One evening Mr. Lindsay, a M. Villars, and M. Muller, a 
Swiss gentleman and a noted man of science, very much at 
home in Mr. Lindsay's house, were carrying on, in French, a 
conversation in which the two foreigners took part against 
their host. M. Villars began wnth talking about Lafayette ; 
from him they went to the American Revolution, and Wash- 
ington, and from them to other patriots and other republics, 
ancient and modern ; — MM. Villars and Muller taking the 
side of freedom and pressing Mr. Lindsay hard with argu- 
ment, authority, example, and historical testimony. Ellen 
as usual w^as fast by his side, and delighted to see that 
he could by no means make good his ground. The ladies at 
the other end of the room would several times have drawn 
her away, but happily for her, and also as usual, Mr. Lind- 
say's arm was arourld her shoulders, and she was left in quiet 
to listen. The conversation was very lively, and on a subject 
very interesting to her ; for America had been always a 
darhng theme ; Scottish struggles for freedom were fresh in 
her mind ; her attention had long ago been called to Switzer- 
land and its history by Alice and Mrs. Vawse, and French 
history had formed a good part of her last winter's reading. 
She listened with the most eager delight, too much engrossed 
to notice the good-humored glances that were every now and 
then given her by one of the s.peakers. Not Mr. Lindsay ; — 
though his hand w^as upon her shoulder or playing with the 
light curls that fell over her temples, he did not see that her 
face was flushed with interest, or notice the quick smile and 
sparkle of the eye that followed every turn in the conversation 
that favored her wishes or foiled his ; — it was M. Muller. 
They came to the Swiss, and their famous struggle for free- 
dom against Austrian oppression. M. Muller wished to speak 
12* 



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of the noted battle in which that freedom was made sure, but 
for the moment its name had escaped him. 

" Par ma foi," said M. Villars, — " il m'a entierement 
passe !" 

Mr. Lindsay could not or would not help him out. But 
M. Muller suddenh' turned to Ellen, in whose face he thought 
he saw a look of intelligence, and begged of her the missing 
name." 

" Est-ce jNIorgarten, monsieur ?" said Ellen blushing. 

" Morgarten ! c'est ga !" said he, with a polite, pleased 
bow of thanks. Mr. Lindsay was little less astonished than 
the Duke of Argyle when his gardener claimed to be the 
owner of a Latin work on mathematics. 

The conversation presently took a new turn with M. Villars ; 
and M. Muller withdrawing from it addressed himself to 
Ellen. He was a pleasant-looking elderly gentleman ; she 
had never seen him before that evening. 

" You know French well then ?" said he, speaking to her 
in that tongue. 

" 1 don't know, sir," said Ellen modestly. 

" And you have heard of the Swiss mountaineers ?" 

*' yes, sir ; a great deal." 

He opened his watch and showed her in the back of it an 
exquisite little painting, asking her if she knew what it was. 

'* It is an Alpine chPdet, is it not, sir?" 

He was pleased, and went on, always in French, to tell 
Ellen that Switzerland was his country ; and drawing a little 
aside from the other talkers, he entered into a long and to her 
most delightful conversation. In the pleasantest manner he 
gave her a vast deal of very entertaining detail about the coun- 
try and the manners and habits of the people of the Alps, 
especially in the Tyrol, w^here he had often traveled. It 
would have been hard to tell whether the child had most 
pleasure in receiving, or the man of deep study and science 
most pleasure in giving, all manner of information. He saw, 
he said, that she was very fond of the heroes of freedom, and 
asked if she had ever heard of Andrew Hofer, the Tyrolese 
peasant, who led on his brethren in their noble endeavors to 
rid themselves of French and Bavarian oppression. Ellen 
had never heard of him. 

" You know V/illiam Tell ?" 



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275 



'* Oh yes," Ellen said, — she kneAV him. 
" And Bonaparte ?" 
** Yes, very well," 

He went on then to give her in a very interesting way the 
history of Hofer ; — how when Napoleon made over his coun- 
try to the rule of the King of Bavaria, who oppressed them, 
they rose in mass ; overcame army after army that were sent 
against them in their mountain fastnesses, and freed them- 
selves from the hated Bavarian government ; how years after 
Napoleon was at last too strong for them ; Hofer and his 
companions defeated, hunted like wild beasts, shot down hke 
them ; how Hofer was at last betrayed by a friend, taken, 
and executed, being only seen to weep at parting with his 
family. The beautiful story was well told, and the speaker 
was animated by the eager deep attention and sympathy of 
his auditor, whose changing color, smiles, and even tears, 
showed how well she entered into the feelings of the patriots 
in their struggle, triumph, and downfall ; till as he finished 
she was left full of pity for them and hatred of Napoleon. 
They talked of the Alps again. M. Muller put his hand in his 
pocket and pulled out a little painting in mosaic to show her, 
which he said had been given him that day. It was a beau- 
tiful piece of pietra dura work — Mont Blanc. He assured 
her the mountain often looked exactly so. Ellen admired it 
very much. It was meant to be set for a brooch or some 
such thing, he said, and he asked if she would keep it and 
sometimes wear it, " to remember the Swiss, and to do him a 
pleasure." 

" Moi, monsieur!" said Ellen, coloring high with surprise 
and pleasure, — " je suis bien obhgee — mais, monsieur, je ne 
saurais vous remercier !" 

He would count himself well paid, he said, with a single 
touch of her lips. 

" Tenez, monsieur !" said Ellen, blushing, but smiling, and 
tendering back the mosaic. 

He laughed and bowed and begged her pardon, and said 
she must keep it to assure him she had forgiven him ; and 
then he asked by what name he might remember her. 

" Monsieur, je m' appelle Ellen M " 

She stopped short, in utter and blank uncertainty what to 



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call herself ; Montgomery she dared not ; Lindsay stuck in 
her throat. 

" Have you forgotten it ?" said M. Muller, amused at her 
look, " or is it a secret?'' 

" Tell M. Muller your name, Ellen," said Mr. Lindsay, 
turning round from a group wliere he was standing at a 
little distance. The tone was stern and displeased. Ellen 
felt it keenly, and with difficulty and some hesitation still, 
murmured, 

" Ellen Lindsay." 

*' Lindsay ? Are you the daughter of my friend Mr. 
Lindsay?" 

Again Ellen hesitated, in great doubt how to answer, but 
finally, not without starting tears, said, 
" Oui, Monsieur," 

" Your memory is bad to night," said Mr. Lindsay, in her 
ear, — " you had better go where you can refresh it." 

Ellen took this as a hint to leave the room, which she 
did immediately, not a little hurt at the displeasure she did 
not think she had deserved ; she loved Mr. Lindsay the best 
of all her relations, and really loved him. She went to bed 
and to sleep again that night with wet eyelashes. 

Meanwhile M. Muller was gratifying Mr. Lindsay in a high 
degree by the praises he bestowed upon his daughter, — her in- 
telligence, her manners, her modesty, and her French. He 
-asked if she was to be in Edinburgh thatAvinter, and whether 
she would be at school ; and Mr. Lindsay declaring himself 
undecided on the latter point, M. Muller said he should be 
pleased, if she had leisure, to have her come to his rooms two 
or three times a week to read with him. This offer, from a 
person of M. MuUer's standing and studious habits, Mr. Lind- 
say justly took as both a great compliment and a great 
promise of advantage to Ellen. He at once and wi^h much 
pleasure accepted it. So the question of school was settled. 

Ellen resolved the next morning to lose no time in making 
up her difference with Mr. Lindsay, and schooled herself to 
use a form of words that she thought would please him. 
Pride said indeed, " Do no such thing ; don't go to making 
acknowledgements when you have not been in the wrong ; you 
are not bound to humble yourself before unjust displeasure." 



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277 



Pride pleaded powerfully. But neither Ellen's heart nor her 
conscience would permit her to take this advice. " He loves 
me very much," she thought, — " and perhaps he did not un- 
derstand me last night ; and besides, I owe him — yes, 1 do ! 
— a child's obedience now. I ought not to leave him dis- 
pleased with me a moment longer than I can help. And 
besides I couldn't be happy so. God gives grace to the 
humble — I will humble myself." 

To have a chance for executing this determination she went 
down stairs a good deal earlier than usual ; she knew Mr. 
Lindsay was generally there before the rest of the family, and 
she hoped to see him alone. It was too soon even for him, 
however ; the rooms were empty ; so Ellen took her book 
from the table, and being perfectly at peace with herself, sat 
down in the window and was presently lost in the interest of 
what she w^as reading. She did not know of Mr. Lindsay's 
approach till a little imperative tap on her shoulder startled 
her. 

What were you thinking of last night ? what made you 
answer M. Muller in the way you did?" 

Ellen started up, but to utter her prepared speech was no 
longer possible. 

" I did not know what to say," she said, looking down. 

" What do you mean by that?" said he angrily. " Didn't 
you know what I wished you to say ?" 

" Yes — but — Do not speak to me in that way !" exclaimed 
Ellen, covering her face with her hands. Pride struggled to 
keep back the tears that wanted to flow. 

I shall choose my own method of speaking. Why did 
you not say what you knew I wished you to say ?" 

" I was afraid — I didn't know — but he would think what 
wasn't true." 

" That is precisely what I wish him and all the world to 
think. I will have no difference made, Ellen, either by them 
or you. Now lift up your head and listen to me," said he, 
taking both her hands, — "I lay my comrhands upon you, 
whenever the like questions may be asked again, that you 
answer simply according to what I have told you, without 
any explanation or addition. It is true, and if people draw 
conclusions that are not true, it is what I wish. Do you un« 
derstand me ?" 



278 



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Ellen bowed. 

*' Will you obey me?" 

She answered again in the same mute way. 
He ceased to hold her at arm's length, and sitting down in 
her chair drew her close to him, saying more kindly, 
" You must not displease me, Ellen," 

" I had no tiiought of displeasing you, sir," said Ellen 
bursting into tears, — " and 1 was very soiTy for it last night. 
I did not mean to disobey you — I only hesitated " — 

" Hesitate no more. My commands may serve to remove 
the cause of it. You are my daughter, Ellen, and I am your 
father. Poor child !" said he, for Ellen was violently agitated, 
— " I don't believe I shall have much difficulty with you." 

" If you will only not speak and look at me so," said 
Ellen, — " it makes me very unhappy " — 

" Hush !" said he kissing- her ; — " do not give me occasion." 

"I did not give you occasion, sir?" 

" Why Ellen !" said Mr. Lindsay, half displeased again, — 
I shall begin to think your aunt Keith is right, that you are 
a true Lindsay. But so am I, — and I will have only 
obedience from you — without eith.er answering or argu- 
menting," 

" You shall," murmured Ellen. " But do not be displeas- 
ed with me, father." 

Ellen had schooled herself to say that word ; she knew it 
would greatly please him ; and she was not mistaken ; though 
it was spoken so low that his ears could but just catch it. 
Displeasure was entirely overcome. He pressed her to his 
heart, kis>ing her with great tenderness, and would not let 
her go from his arms till he had seen her smile again ; and 
during all the day he was not willing to have her out of his 
sight. 

It would have been easy that morning for Ellen to have 
made a breach between them that would not readily have 
been healed. One word of humility had prevented it all, 
and fastened her more firmly than ever in Mr. Lindsay's 
affection. She met with nothing from him but tokens of 
great and tender fondness ; and Lady Keith told her mother 
apart that there would be no doing anything with George ; 
she saw he was getting bewitched with that child. 



CHAPTER XLIX. 



My heart is sair, I dare nae tell, 
My heart is sair for somebody : 
I could, wake a winter night 
For the sake of somebody. 
Oh-hon ! for somebody I 
Oh hey ! for somebody I 
I wad do — what wad I not, 
For the sake of somebody. 

Old Song. 

In a few weeks they moved to Edinburgh, where arrange- 
ments were speedily made for giving Ellen every means of 
improvement that masters and mistresses, books and instru- 
ments, could afford. 

'1 he house in Georges street was large and pleasant. To 
Ellen's great joy, a pretty little room opening from the first 
landing-place of the private staircase was assigned for her 
special use as a study and work-room ; and fitted up nicely 
for her with a small book-case, a practising piano, and various 
etceteras. Here her beloved desk took its place on a table in 
the middle of the floor, where Ellen thought she would make 
many a new drawing when she was by herself. Her work- 
box was accommodated with a smaller stand near the window. 
A glass door at one end of the room opened upon a small 
iron balcony ; this door and balcony Ellen esteemed a very 
particular treasure. With marvelous satisfaction she arranged 
and arranged her little sanctum till she had all things to her 
mind, and it only wanted, she thought, a glass of flowers. " I 
will have that too some of these days," she said to herself ; 
and resolved to deserve her pretty room by being very busy 
there. It was hers alone, open indeed to her friends when 
they chose to keep her company ; but lessons were taken 
elsewhere ; in the library, or the music-room, or more fre- 
quently her grandmother's dressing-room. Wherever, or 
whatever, Mrs. Lindsay or l ady Keith was always present. 



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Ellen was the plaything, pride, and delight, of the whole 
family. Not so much however Lady Keith's plaything as 
her pride ; while pride had a less share in the affection of the 
other two, or rather perhaps was more overtopped by it. 
Ellen felt however that all their hearts were set upon her, felt 
it gratefully, and determined she would give them all the 
pleasure she possibly ccii.d. Her love for other friends, friends 
that they knew nothing of, American friends, was, she knew, 
the sore point with them ; she resolved not to speak of those 
friends, nor allude to them, especially in any way that should 
show how much of her heart was out of Scotland. But this 
wise resolution it was very hard for poor Ellen to keep. She 
was unaccustomed to concealments ; and in ways that she 
could neither foresee nor prevent, the unwelcome truth would 
come up, and the sore was not healed. 

One day Ellen had a headache and was sent to lie down. 
Alone, and quietly stretched on her bed, very naturally Ellen's 
thoughts went back to the last time she had had a headache, 
at home, as she always called it to herself. She recalled 
with a straitened heai t the gentle and tender manner of John's 
care for her ; how nicely he had placed her on the sofa ; how 
he sat by her side bathing her temples, or laying his cool 
hand on her forehead, and once, she remembered, his lips. 
" I wonder," thought Ellen, " what I ever did to make him 
love me so much, as I know he does ?" She remembered how, 
when she was able to listen, he still sat beside her, talking 
such sweet words of kindness and comfort and amusement, 
that she almost loved to be sick to have such tending, and 
looked up at him as at an angel. She felt it all over again. 
Unfortunately, after she had fallen asleep, Mrs. Lindsay came 
in to see how she was, and two tears, the last pair of them, 
were slowly making their way down her cheeks. Her grand- 
mother saw them, and did not rest till she knew the cause. 
Ellen was extremely sorry to tell, she did her best to get off 
from it, but she did not know how to evade questions ; and 
those that were put to her indeed admitted of no evasion. 

A few days later, just after they came to Edinburgh, it was 
remarked one morning at breakfast that Ellen was very 
straight and carried herself well. 

"It is no thanks to me," said Ellen smiling, — "they never 
would let me hold myself ill." 



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281 



"Who is ' they ?' " said Lady Keith. 
*' My brother and sister." 

" I wish, George," said Lady Keith discontentedly, " that 
you would lay your commands upon Ellen to use that form oi 
expression no more. My ears are absolutely sick of it." 

" You do not hear it very often, aunt Keith," Ellen could 
not help saying, 

" Quite often enough ; and I know it is upon your lips a 
thousand times when, you do not speak it." 

" And if Ellen does, we do not," said Mrs. Lindsay, "wish 
to claim kindred with all the world. 

" How came you take up such an absurd habit ?" said Lady 
Keith. " It isn't like you." 

" They took it up first," said Ellen ; — I was too glad — " 

" Yes, I dare sa}" they had their reasons for taking it up," 
said her aunt; — "they had acted from interested motives I 
have no doubt ; people always do." 

" You are very much mistaken, aunt Keith," said Ellen, 
with uncontrollable feeling ; — " you do not in the least know 
what you are talking about !" 

Instantly, Mr. Lindsay's fingers tapped her lips. Ellen 
colored painfully, but after an instant's hesitation she said, 

" 1 beg your pardon, aunt Keith, I should not have said 
that." 

" Very well !" said Mr. Lindsay. " But understand, Ellen, 
however you may have taken it up, — this habit, — you will 
lay it down for the future. Let us hear no more of brothers 
and sisters. I cannot, as your grandmother says, fraternize 
with all the world, especially with unknown relations." 

"I am very glad you have made that regulation," said 
Mrs. Lindsay. 

" I cannot conceive how Ellen has got such a way of it," 
said Lady Keith. 

" It is very natural," said Ellen, with some huskiness of 
voice, " that 1 should say so, because I feel so.'' 

"You do not mean to say," said Mr. Lindsay, " that this 
Mr. and Miss Somebody — these people — I don't know their 
names — " 

" There is only one now, sir." 

" This person you call your brother — do you mean to say 
you have the same regard for him as if he had been born so ?" 



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" No," said Ellen, cheek and eye suddenly firing, — "but a 
thousand times more !" 

She was exceeding sorry the next minute after she had said 
this ; for she knew it had given both pain and displeasure in 
a great degree. No answer was made. Ellen dared not look 
at anybody, and needed not ; she wished the silence might be 
broken ; but nothing was heard except a low " whew !" from 
Mr. Lindsay, till he rose up and left the room. Ellen was 
sure he was very much displeased. Even the ladies were too 
much offended to speak on the subject ; and she was merely 
bade to go to her room. She went there, and sitting down 
on the floor covered her face with her hands. "What shall 
1 do ? what shall 1 do ?" she said to herself. " I never shall 
govern this tongue of mine. Oh I wish I had not said that ! 
they will never forget it. "What can I do to make them 
pleased with me again ? — Shall I go to my father's study and 
beg him — but I can't ask him to forgive me — I haven't done 
wrong — I can't unsay what I said. I can do nothing, — I can 
only go in the way of my duty and do the best I can, — and 
maybe they will come round again. But oh dear !" — 

A flood of tears followed this resolution. 

Ellen kept it ; she tried to be blameless in all her work 
and behaviour, but she sorrowfully felt that her friends did 
not forgive her. There was a cool air of displeasure about 
all they said and did ; the hand of fondness was not laid upon 
her shoulder, she was not wrapped in loving arms, as she 
used to be a dozen times a day ; no kisses fell on her brow or 
lips. Ellen felt it, more from Mr. Lindsay than both the 
others ; her spirits sunk ;— she had been forbidden to speak 
of her absent friends, but that was not the way to make her 
forget them ; and there was scarce a minute in the day when 
her brother was not present to her thoughts. 

Sunday came ; her first Sunday in Edinburgh. All went 
to church in the morning ; in the afternoon Ellen found that 
nobody was going ; her grandmother was lying down. She 
asked permission to go alone. 

" Do you want to go because you think you must ? or for 
pleasure ?" said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" For pleasure !" said Ellen's tongue and her opening eyes 
at the same time. 

" You may go." 



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283 



With eager delight Ellen got ready, and was hastening 
along the hall to the door, when she met Mr. Lindsay. 

" Where are you going ?" 
To church, sir," 

"Alone? What do want to go for? No, no, I sha'n't 
kt you. Come in here — I want you with me ; — you have 
been once to-day, already, haven't you ? You do not want 
to go again ?" 

" I do indeed, sir, very much," said Ellen, as she reluc- 
tantly followed him into the library, — "if you have no objec- 
tion. You know I have not seen Edinburgh yet." 

" Edinburgh ! that's true, so you haven't," said he, look- 
ing at her discomfited face. " Well go, if you want to go so 
much." 

Ellen got as far as the hall door, no further ; she rushed 
back to the library. 

" T did not say right when I said that," she burst forth ; — 
*' that was not the reason I wanted to go. — I will stay, if you 
wish me, sir." 

" I don't wish it," said he in surprise ; — " I don't know 
what you mean — I am willing you should go if you like it. 
Away with you 1 it is time." 

Once moi-e Ellen set out, but this time with a heart full ; 
much too full to think of anything she saw by the way. It 
was with a singular feeling of pleasure that she entered the 
church alone. It was a strange church to her, never seen but 
once before, and as she softly passed up the broad aisle she 
saw nothing in the building or the people around her that 
was not strange, — no familiar face, nor familiar thing. But 
it was a church, and she was alone, quite alone in the midst 
of that crowd ; and she went up to the empty pew and en- 
sconced herself in the far corner of it, with a curious feeling 
of quiet and of being at home. She was no sooner seated, 
however, than leaning forward as much as possible to screen 
herself from observation, bending her head upon her knees, she 
burst into an agony of tears. It was a great relief to be 
able to weep freely ; at home she was afraid of being seen or 
heard or questioned ; now she was alone and free, and she 
poured out her very heart in weeping that she with difficulty 
kept from being loud weeping. 

"Oh how could I say that! how could I say that! Oh 



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what would John have thought of me if he had lieard it ! — • 
Am I beginning ah-eady to lose my truth ? am I going 
backward already ! what shall I do ! what will become of 
me if I do not watch over myself — there is no one to help me 
or lead me right — not a single one — all to lead me wrong ! 
what will become of me ? — But there is One who has pro- 
mised to keep those that follow him — he is sufficient, without 
any others — I have not kept near enough to him ! that is it ; 
— I have not remembered nor loved him — ' If ye love me, 
keep my commandments,' — I have not ! I have not ! Oh 
but I will ! — I will ; and he will be with me, and help me 
and bless me, and all will go right with me." 

With bitter tears Ellen mingled as eager prayers, for for- 
giveness and help to be faithful. She resolved that nothing, 
come what would, should tempt her to swerve one iota from 
the straight line of truth ; she resolved to be more careful of 
her private hour ; she thought she had scarcely had her full 
hour a day lately ; she resolved to make the Bible her only 
and her constant rule of life in everything ; — and she prayed, 
such prayers as a heart thoroughly in earnest can pray, for the 
seal to these resolutions. Not one word of the sermon did 
Ellen hear ; but she never passed a more profitable hour in 
church in her life. 

All her tears were not from the spring of these thoughts 
and feelings ; some were the pouring out of the gathered sad- 
ness of the week ; some came from recollections, oh how 
tender and strong ! of lost and distant friends. Her mo- 
ther — and Alice — and Mr. Humphreys — and Margery — and 
Mr. Van Brunt — and Mr. George Marshman ; — and she 
longed, with longing that seemed as if it would burst her 
heart, to see her brother. She longed for the pleasant voice, 
the eye of thousand expressions, into which she always looked 
as if she had never seen it before, the calm look that told he 
was satisfied with her, the touch of his hand, which many a 
time had said a volume. Ellen thought she would give any- 
thing in the world to see him and hear him speak one word. 
As this could not be, she resolved with the greatest care to 
do what would please him ; that when she did see him he 
might find her all he wished. 

She had wept herself out ; she had refreshed and strength- 
ened herself by fleeing to the stronghold of the prisoners of 



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285 



hope ; and when the last hymn was given out she raised her 
h«ad and took the book to find it. To her great surprise she 
saw Mr. Lindsay sitting at the other end of the pew, with 
folded arms, like a man not thinking of what was going on 
around him. Ellen was startled, but obeying the instinct 
that told her what he would like, she immediately moved 
down the pew and stood beside him while the last hymn 
was singing ; and if Ellen had joined in no other part of the 
service that afternoon, she at least did in that with all her 
heart. They walked home then without a word on either 
side. Mr. Lindsay did not quit her hand till he had drawn 
her into the library. There he threw off her bonnet and 
wrappers and taking her in his arms, exclaimed, 

" My poor little darling ! what was the matter with you 
this afternoon ?" 

There was so much of kindness again in his tone, that 
overjoyed, Ellen eagerly returned his caress, and assured him 
there was nothing the matter with her now. 

" Nothing the matter !" said he, tenderly pressing her 
face against his own, — " nothing the matter ! with these pale 
cheeks and wet eyes ? nothing now Ellen ?" 

Only that I am so glad to hear you speak kindly to me 
again, sir." 

" Kindly? I will never speak any way but kindly to you 
daughter ; — come 1 I will not have any more tears — you have 
shed enough for to-day I am sure ; lift up your face and I 
will kiss them away. What was the matter with you, my 
child ?" 

But he had to wait a little while for an answer. 
" What was it, Ellen ?" 

" One thing," said Ellen, — " I was sorry for what I had 
said to you, sir, just before I went out." 

What was that ? I do not remember anything that de 
served to be a cause of grief." 

" I told you, sir, when I w^anted you to let me go to 
church, that I hadn't seen Edinburgh yet." 

" Well ?" 

Well sir, that wasn't being quite true ; and I was very 
sorry for it !" 

"Not true ? yes it was ; what do you mean ? you bad not 
seen Edinburgh." 



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*' No sir, but I mean — that was true, but I said it to make 
you believe what wasn't true." 

- How?" 

** I meant you to think, sir, that that was the reason why 
I wanted to go to church — to see the city and the new 
sights — and it wasn't at all." 

" What was it then?" 

Ellen hesitated. 

" I always love to go, sir, — and besides I beheve I wanted 
be alone." 

*' And you were not, after all," said Mr. Lindsay, again 
pressing her cheek to his, — " for I followed you there. But 
Ellen, my child, you were troubled without reason ; you had 
said nothing that was false." 

" Ah, sir, but I had made you believe what was false." 

" Upon my word," said Mr. Lindsay, ** you are a nice 
reasoner. And are you always true upon this close scale ?" 

" I wish I was sir, but you see I am not. T am sure I hate 
everything else !" 

" Well 1 will not quarrel with you for being true," said 
Mr. Lindsay ; — " I wish there was a little more of it in the 
world. Was this the cause of all those tears this after- 
noon ?" 

No sir — not all." 

" What beside, Ellen ?" 

Ellen looked down, and was silent. 

" Come — I must know." 

" Must I tell you all, sir ?" 

" You must indeed," said he smiling; " I will have the 
whole, daughter." 

" I had been feeling sorry all the week because you and 
grandmother and aunt Keith were displeased with me." 

Again Mr. Lindsay's silent caress in its tenderness seemed 
to say that she should never have the same complaint to 
make again. 

" Was that all, Ellen ?" as she hesitated. 

- No sir." 
" Well ?" 

*' I wish you wouldn't ask me further ; please do not ! — 
shall displease you again." 
" I will not be displeased." 



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287 



" I was thinking of Mr. Humpheys," said Ellen in a low 
tone. 

"Who is that?" 

" You know, sir, — you say I must not call him — " 

" What were you thinking of him." 

" I was wishing very much I could see him again." 

" Well you are a truth-teller," said Mr. Lindsay, — " or 
bolder than I think you." 

" You said you would not be displeased, sir." 
Neither will I, daughter ; but what shall I do to make 
you forget these people ?" 

" Nothino-, sir ; I cannot forfjet them ; I shouldn't deserve 
to have you love me a bit if I could. Let me love them, and 
do not be angry with me for it !" 

" But I am not satisfied to have your body here and your 
heart somewhere else." 

" I must have a poor little kind of heart," said Ellen 
smiling amidst her tears, " if it had room in it for only one 
person." 

" Ellen," said Mr. Lindsay inquisitively, " did you insin- 
uate a falsehood there ?" 
"No sir!" 

" There is honesty in those eyes," said he, " if there is hon- 
esty anywhere in the world. I am satisfied — that is, half 
satisfied. Now lie there my little daughter, and rest," said 
he, laying her upon the sofa ; *' you look as if you needed it.'* 

" I don't need anything now," said Ellen, as she laid her 
cheek upon the grateful pillow, " except one thing — ^if 
grandmother would only forgive me too." 

" You must try not to offend your grandmother, Ellen, 
for she does not very readily forgive ; but I think we can 
arrange this matter. Go you to sleep." 

" I wonder," said Ellen, smiling as she closed her eyes, 
" why everybody calls me ' little I dont think I am very 
littje. Everybody says ' little.' " 

Mr. Lindsay thought he understood it when a few minutes 
after he sat watching her as she really had fallen asleep. 
The innocent brow, the perfect sweet calm of the face, seemed 
to belong to much younger years. Even Mr. Lindsay 
could not help recollectmg the housekeeper's comment, 
** Heaven's peace within ;" scarcely Ellen's own mother ever 



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watched over her with more fond tenderness than her adopt- 
ed father did now. 

For several days after this he would hardly permit her to 
leave him. He made her bring her books and study where 
he was ; he went out and came in with her ; and kept her 
by his side whenever they joined the rest of the family at 
meals or in the evening. Whether Mr. Lindsay intended it 
or not, this had soon the effect to abate the displeasure of 
his mother and sister. Ellen was almost taken out of their 
hands, and they thought it expedient not to let him have 
the whole of her. And though Ellen could better bear their 
cold looks and words since she had Mr. Lindsay's favor 
again, she was veiy glad when they smiled upon her too, 
and went dancing about with quite a happy face. 

She was now very busy. She had masters for the 
piano and singing and different branches of knowledge ; she 
went to Mr. Muller regularly twice a week ; and soon her 
riding-attendance began. She had said no more on the 
subject, but went quietly, hoping they would find out their 
mistake before long. Lady Keith always accompanied her. 

One day Ellen had ridden near her usual time, when a 
young lady with whom she attended a German class, came 
up to where she was resting. This lady was several years 
older than Ellen, but had taken a fancy to her. 

How finely you got on yesterday," said she, — "making 
us all ashamed. Ah, I guess M. Muller helped you." 

" Yes," said Ellen, smihng, " he did help me a little ; 
he helped me with those troublesome pronunciations," 

" With nothing else, I suppose ? Ah well, we must sub- 
mit to be stupid. How do you do to-day ?" 

"I am very tired, Miss Gordon." 

" Tired ? you're not used to it," 
No it isn't that," said Ellen ; — " I am used to it — that is 
the reason I am tired. I am accustomed to ride up and 
down the country at any pace I like ; and it is very tiresome 
to walk stupidly round and round for an hour." 

" But do you know how to manage a horse ? I thought 
you were only just beginning to learn." 

" no — I have been learning this great while ; — only they 
don't think I know how, and they have never seen rae. Are 
you just come, Miss Gordon?" 



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289 



" Yes, and they are bringing out Sophronisbe for me — do 
ou know Sophronisbe ? — look — that light grey — isn't she 
eautiful? she's the loveliest creature in the whole stud." 
"01 know !" said Ellen ; " I saw you on her the other 
day ; she went charmingly. How long shall I be kept 
walking here, Miss Gordon ?" 

" Why I don't know — I should think they would find out 
— what does De Courcy say to you ?" 

" O he comes and looks at me and says, ' tres bien — tres 
bien,' and ' allez comme ga,' and then he walks off." 

Well I declare that is too bad," said Miss Gordon laugh- 
ing. Look here — I've got a good thought in my head — 
suppose you mount Sophronisbe in my place, without saying 
anything to anybody, and let them see what you are up to. 
Can you trust yourself ? she's very spirited." 

I could trust myself," said Ellen ; " but, thank you, I 
think I had better not." 
" Afraid?" 

No, not at all ; but my aunt and father would not like it." 
" Nonsense ! how should they dislike it — there's no sort of 
danger,, you know. Come ! — I thought you sat wonderfully 
for a beginner. I am surprised De Courcy hadn't better eyes. 
I guess you have learned German before Ellen ? — Come, 
will you?" 

But Ellen declined, preferring her plodding walk round the 
ring to any putting of herself forward. Presently Mr. Lind- 
say came in. It was the first time he had been there. His 
eyes soon singled out Ellen. 

My daughter sits well," he remarked to the riding-master. 

" A merveille! — Mademoiselle Lindesay does ride remarqua- 
blement pour une beginner — qui ne fait que commencer. 
Would it be possible that she has had no lessons before ?" 

" Why, yes — she has had lessons — of what sort I don't 
know," said Mr. Lindsay, going up to Ellen. " How do you 
like it, Ellen ?" 

" I don't like it at all, sir." 

" I thought you were so fond of riding." 

** I don't call this riding, sir." 

" Ha ! what do you call riding ? Here, M. De Courcy — 
won't you have the goodness to put this young lady on an- 
other horse and see if she knows anything about handling him.** 
\ot, II. 13 



290 



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'* With great pleasure !" M. De Courcy would do any- 
thing that was requested of him. Ellen was taken out of the 
ring of walkers and mounted on a fine animal, and set by 
herself to have her skill tried in as many various ways as M. 
De Courcy 's ingenuity could point out. Never did she bear 
herself more erectly ; never were her hand and her horse's 
mouth on nicer terms of acquaintanceship ; never, even to 
please her master, had she so given her whole soul to the 
single business of managing her horse and herself perfectly 
well. She knew as little as she cared that a number of per- 
sons besides her friends were standing to look at her ; she 
thought of only two people there, Mr. Lindsay and her aunt ; 
and the riding-master, as his opinion might affect theirs. 

" C'est tres bien, — c'est tres bien," — he muttered, — c'est 
par-faite-ment — Monsieur, Mademoiselle votre fille has had 
good lessons — voila qui est entierement comme il faut." 

" Assez bien," said Mr Lindsay smiling. " The little 
gipsey!" 

" Mademoiselle," said the riding-master as she paused 
before them, — " pourquoi, wherefore have you stopped in 
your canter tantot — a little while ago — et puis recommence'?" 

" Monsieur, he led with the wrong foot." 

*' C'est 9a — ^justement!" he exclaimed. 

" Have you practised leaping, Ellen ?" 

"Yes sir." 

** Try her M. De Courcy. How high will you go Ellen ?" 
As high as you please, sir," said Ellen, leaning over and 
patting her horse's neck to hide her smile. 

" How you look, child !" said Mr. Lindsay in a pleased 
tone. " So this is what you call riding ?" 

** It is a little more like it, sir." 

Ellen was tried with standing and running leaps, higher 
and higher, till Mr. Lindsay would have no more of it ; 
and M. De Courcy assured him that his daughter had 
been taught by a very accomplished rider, and there was 
little or nothing left for him to do ; il n'y pouvoit plus ; — but 
he should be very happy to have her come there to practise, 
and show an example to his pupils. 

The very bright color in Ellen's face as she heard this 
might have been mistaken for the flush of gratified vanity : 
it was nothing less. Not one word of this praise did she take 



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to herself, nor had she sought for herself ; — it was all for 
somebody else ; and perhaps so Lady Keith understood it, 
for she looked rather discomfited. But Mr. Lindsay was 
exceedingly pleased ; and promised Ellen that as soon as the 
warm weather came she should have a horse, and rides to 
her heart's content. 



CHAPTER L 



She was his care, his hope, and his delight, 
Most in his thought, and ever in his sight. 

Dr\deh. 

Ellen might now have been in some danger of being 
spoiled, — not indeed with over-indulgence, for that was not 
the temper of the family, — but from finding herself a person 
of so much consequence. She could not but feel that in the 
minds of every one of her three friends she was the object of 
greatest importance ; their thoughts and care were principally 
occupied with her. Even Lady Keith was perpetually watch- 
ing, superintending, and admonishing ; though she every now 
and then remarked with a kind of surprise, that " really she 
scarcely ever had to say anything to Ellen ; she thought she 
must know things by instinct." To Mr. Lindsay and his 
mother she was the idol of life ; and except when by chance 
her will might cross theirs, she had what she wished and did 
what she pleased. 

But Ellen happily had two safeguards which effectually 
kept her from pride or presumption. 

One was her love for her brother and longing remembrance 
of him. There was no one to take his place, not indeed in 
her affections, for that would have been impossible, but in 
the daily course of her life. She missed him in everything. 
She had abundance of kindness and fondness shown her, but 
the sympathy was wanting. She was talked to, but not with. 
No one now knew always what she was thinking of, nor it 
they did would patiently draw out her thoughts, canvass 
them, set them right or show them wrong. No one now 
could tell what she was feeling, nor had the art sweetly, in a 
way she scarce knew how, to do away with sadness, or dull- 
ness, or perverseness, and leave her spirits clear and bright 
as the noon-day. With all the petting and fondness she had 



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from her new friends, Ellen felt alone. She was petted and 
fondled as a darling possession — a dear plaything — a thing to 
be cared for, taught, governed, disposed of, with the greatest 
aftection and delight ; but John's was a higher style of kind- 
ness, that entered into all her innermost feelings and wants ; 
and his was a higher style of authority too, that reached 
where theirs could never attain ; an authority Ellen always 
felt it utterly impossible to dispute ; it was sure to be exerted 
on the side of what was right ; and she could better have 
borne hard words from Mr. Lindsay than a glance of her 
brother's eye. Ellen made no objection to the imperativeness 
of her new guardians ; it seldom was called up so as to trou- 
ble her, and she was not of late parti cularl}'- fond of having 
her own way ; but she sometimes drew comparisons. 

" I could not any sooner — I could not as soon — have dis- 
obeyed John ; — and yet he never would have spoken to me 
as they do if I had." 

''Some pride perhaps?" she said, remembering Mr. Dun- 
das's Avords ; — " I should say a great deal — John isn't proud ; 
— and yet — I don't know — he isn't proud as they are ; I 
wish I knew what kinds of pride are right and what wrong — 
he would tell me if he was here." 

" What are you in a ' brown study ' about, Ellen ?" said 
Mr. Lindsay ?" 

" I was thinking, sir, about different kinds of pride — I wish 
I knew the right from the wrong — or is there any good 
kind ?" 

"All good, Elleti — all good," said Mr. Lindsay, — "pro- 
vided you do not have too much of it." 

" Would you like me to be proud, sir ?" 

"Yes," said he, laughing and pinching her cheek, "as 
proud as you like ; if you only don't let me see any of it." 

Not very satisfactory ; but that was the way with the few 
questions of any magnitude Ellen ventured to ask ; she was 
kissed and laughed at, called metaphysical or j^hilosophical, 
and dismissed with no hght on the subject. She sighed for 
her brother. The hours with M. MuUer were the best sub- 
stitute she had ; they were dearly prized by her, and, to say 
truth, by him. He had no family, he lived alone ; and the 
visits of his docile and intelligent little pupil became very 
pleasant breaks in the monotony of his home life. Truly 



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kind-hearted and benevolent, and a true lover of knowledge, 
he delighted to impart it. Ellen soon found she might ask 
him as many questions as she pleased, that Avere at all proper 
to the subject they were upon ; and he, amused and inter- 
ested, was equally able and willing to answer her. Often 
when not particularly busy he allowed her hour to become 
two. Excellent hours for Ellen. M. Muller had made his 
proposition to Mr. Lindsay, partly from grateful regaid for 
him, and partly to gratify the fancy he had taken to Ellen on 
account of her simplicity, intelligence, and good manners. 
This latter motive did not disappoint him. He grew very much 
attached to his little pupil ; an attachment which Ellen faith- 
fully returned, both in kind, and by every trifling service that 
it could fall in her way to render him. Fine flowers and 
fruit, that it was her special delight to carry to M. Muller; 
little jobs of copying, or setting in order some disorderly mat- 
ters in his rooms, where he soon would trust her to do any- 
thing ; or a book from her father's library ; and once or twice 
when he was indisposed, reading to him, as she did by the 
hour patiently, matters that could neither intei'est nor con- 
cern her. On the whole, and with good reason, the days 
when they were to meet were hailed with as much pleasure 
perhaps by M. Muller as by Ellen heiself. 

Her other safeguard was the precious hour alone which 
she had promised John never to lose when she could help it. 
The only time she could liave was the early morning before 
the rest of the family were up. To this hour, and it was 
often more than an hour, Ellen was faithful. Her little Bible 
was extremely precious now ; Ellen had never gone to it with 
a deeper sense of need ; and never did she find more comfort 
in being able to disburden her heart in prayer of its load of 
cares and wishes. Never more than now had she felt the 
preciousness of that Friend who draws closer to his children 
the closer they draw to him ; she had never realized more 
the joy of having him to go to. It was her special delight 
to pray for those loved ones she could do nothing else for ; it 
"was a joy to think that He who hears prayer is equally pre- 
sent with all his people, and that though thousands of miles 
lie between the petitioner and the petitioned-for, the breath 
of prayer may span the distance and pour blessings on the 
far-off head. The burden of thoughts and affections gathered 



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during the twenty-three hours, was laid down in the twenty- 
fourth ; and Ellen could meet her friends at the breakfast 
table with a sunshiny face. Little they thought where her 
heart had been, or where it had got its sunshine. 

But notAvithstandingthis, Ellen had too much to remember 
and regret than to be otherwise than sober, — soberer than 
her fi-iends liked. They noticed with sorrow that the sun- 
shine wore off as the day rolled on ; — that though ready to 
snvle upon occasion, her face always settled again into a 
gravity they thought altogether unsuitable. Mrs. Lindsay 
fancied she knew the cause, and resolved to break it up. 

From the fiist of Ellen's coming her grandmother had 
taken the entire charge of her toilet. Whatever Mrs, Lind- 
say's notions in general might be as to the propriety of young 
girls learning to take care of themselves, Ellen was much too 
precious a plaything to be trusted to any other hands, even 
her own. At eleven o'clock regularly every day she went to 
her grandmother's dressing room for a very elaborate bath- 
ing and dressing ; though not a very long one, for all Mrs. 
Lindsay's were energetic. Now, Avithout any hint as to the 
reason, she was directed to come to her grandmother an hour 
before the breakfast time, to go through then the course of 
cold-water, sponging, and hair-gloving, that Mrs, Lindsay 
was accustomed to administer at eleven. Ellen heard in 
silence, and obeyed, but made up her hour by rising earlier 
than usual, so as to have it before going to her grandmother. 
It was a little difficult at first, but she soon got into the habit 
of it, thouo-h the mornincrs were dark and cold. After a while 
it chanced that this came to Mrs. Lindsay's ears, and Ellen 
was told to come to her as soon as she was out of bed in the 
morning. 

But grandmother," said Ellen, — " I am up a great while 
before you are ; 1 should find you asleep ; don't I come soon 
enough ?" 

** What do you get up so early for ?" 

" You know ma'am — I told you some time ago. I want 
some time to myself." 

" It is not good for you to be up so long before breakfast, 
and in these cold mornings. Do not rise in future till I send 
for you." 

But grandmother, — that is the only time for me — thei'e 



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isn't an hour after breakfast that I can have regularly to 
myself ; and I cannot be happy if I do not have some time." 

** Let it be as I said," said Mrs. Lindsay smiling. 

" Couldn't you let me come to you at eleven o'clock again, 
ma'am ? do, grandmother 1" 

Mrs. Lindsay touched her lips ; a way of silencing her 
that Ellen particularly disliked, and which both Mr. Lindsay 
and his mother was accustomed to use. 

She thought a great deal on the subject, and came soberly 
to the conclusion that it was her duty to disobey. " I promised 
John," she said to herself, — " I will never break that promise ! 
I'll do anything rather. And besides, if 1 had not, it is just 
as much my duty — a duty that no one here has a right to 
command me against. I will do what I think right, come 
what may." 

She could not without its coming to the knowledge of her 
grandmother. A week or two after the former conversation 
Mrs. Lindsay made inquiries of Mason, her woman, who was 
obliged to confess that Miss Ellen's light was always burning 
when she went to call her. 

Ellen," said Mrs. Lindsay the same day, — " have you 
obeyed me in what I told you the other morning ? — about 
lying in bed till you are sent for ?" 

" No, ma'am." 

** You are frank ! to venture to tell me so. Why have you 
disobeyed me ?" 

" Because, grandmother, I thought it was right.'* 
"•You think it is right to disobey, do you ?" 
*' Yes, ma'am, if — " 
If what ?" 

*' I mean, grandmother, there is One I must obey even be- 
fore you." 

" If what ?" repeated Mrs. Lindsay. 

** Please do not ask me, grandmother ; I don't want to say 
that." 

" Say it at once, Ellen !" 

" I think it is right to disobey if I am told to do what i» 
irrong," said Ellen in a low voice. 

•* Are you to be the judge of right and ^^ rong ?" 
"No, ma'am." 
" Who then ?" 



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297 



" The Bible." 

** I do not know what is the reason," said Mrs. Lindsay, 
" that I cannot be very angry with you. Ellen, I repeat the 
order I gave you the other day. Promise me to obey it." 

" I cannot, grandmother ; I must have that hour ; I cannot 
do without it." 

" So must I be obeyed, I assure you, Ellen. You will 
sleep in my room henceforth." 

Ellen heard her in despair ; she did not know what to do. 
Appealing was not to be thought of. There was, as she 
said, no time she could count upon after breakfast. During 
the whole day and evening she was either busy with hei 
studies or masters, or in the company of her grandmother or 
Mr. Lindsay ; and if not there, liable to be called to them at 
any moment. Her grandmother's expedient for increasing 
her cheerfulness had marvelous ill success. Ellen drooped 
under the sense of wrong, as well as the loss of her greatest 
comfort. For two days she felt and looked forlorn ; and 
smihng now seemed to be a difficult matter. Mr. Lindsay 
happened to be remarkably busy those two days, so that he 
did not notice what was going on. At the end of them, 
however, in the evening, he called Ellen to him, and whis- 
peringly asked what was the matter." 

" Nothing, sir," said Ellen, "only grandmother will not let 
me do something I cannot be happy without doing." 

" Is it one of the things you want to do because it is right, 
whether it is convenient or not ?" he asked smiling. Ellen 
could not smile. 

" father," she whispered, putting her face close to his, 
if you would only get grandmother to let me do it !" 

The words were spoken with a sob, and Mr. Lindsay felt 
her warm tears upon his neck. He had however far too 
much respect for his mother to say anything against her pro- 
ceedings while Ellen was present ; he simply answered that 
she must do whatever her grandmother said. But when 
Ellen had left the room, which she did immediately, he took 
the matter up. Mrs. Lindsay explained, and insisted that 
Ellen was spoiling herself for life and the world by a set of 
dull religious notions that were utterly unfit for a child ; th.at 
she would very soon get over thinking about her habit of 
morning prayer, and would then do much better. Mr. Lindsay 
13* 



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looked grave ; but with Ellen's tears yet wet up )n his 
cheek he could not dismiss the matter so lightly, and per- 
sisted in desiring that his mother should give up the point, 
which she utterly refused to do. 

Ellen meanwhile had fled to her own room. The moon- 
light was quietly streaming in through the casement ; it 
looked to her like an old friend. She threw herself down on 
the floor, close by the glass, and after some tears, which she 
could not help shedding, she raised her head and looked 
thoughtfully out. It was very seldom now that she had a 
chance of the kind ; she was rarely alone but when she was 
busy. 

*' I wonder if that same moon is this minute shining in at the 
glass door at home ? — no, to be sure it can't this minute — what 
am I thinking of? — but it was there or will be there — let me 
see — east — west — it was there some time this morning I sup- 
pose ; looking right into our old sitting-room. moon, 1 wish I 
was in your place for once, to look in there too ! But it is 
all empty now — there's nobody there — Mr. Humphreys 
would be in his study — how lonely, how lonely he must be ! 
O I wish I was back there with him ! — John isn't there though 
— no matter — he will be, — and I could do so much for Mr. 
Humphreys in the meanwhile. He must miss me. I wonder 
where John is — nobody writes to me; I should think some 
one might. I wonder if I am ever to see them again. he 
will come to see me surely before he goes home I — but then 
he will have to go away without me again — I am fast 
now — fast enough — but oh ! am 1 to be separated from them 
for ever ? Well ! — 1 shall see them in heaven !" 

It was a " Well" of bitter acquiescence, and washed down 
with bitter tears. 

" Is it my bonny Miss Ellen ?" said the voice of the house- 
keeper coming softly in ; — " is my baim sitting a' her lane 
r the dark ? Why are ye no wi' the rest o' the folk, Miss 
Ellen?" 

" I like to be alone, Mrs. Allen, and the moon shines in 
here nicely." 

" Greeting !" exclaimed the old lad), drawing nearer, — " 1 
ken it by the sound o' youi* voice ; — greeting eenow ! Are 
ye no weel, Miss Ellen ? What vexes my bairn ? but your 
father would be vexed an he kenned it !" 



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299 



" Never mind, Mrs. Allen," said Ellen ; " I shall get over 
it directly ; don't say anything about it." 

" But I'm wae to see ye," said the kind old woman, 
stooping down and stroking the head that again Ellen had 
bowed on her knees ; — " Avill ye no tell me what vexes ye ? Ye 
suld be as blithe as a bird the lang day." 

" I can't, Mrs. Allen, Avhile I am away from my friends." 

" Frinds ! and wha has mair frinds than yoursel, Miss Ellen, 
or better frinds ? — father and mither and a' ; where wad ye 
find thae that will love you mair." 

*' Ah, but I haven't my brother !" sobbed Ellen. 

" Your brither. Miss Ellen ? An' wha's he ?" 
He's everything, Mrs. Allen ! he's everything I I shall 
never be happy without him ! — never ! never !" 

" Hush, dear Miss Ellen ! for the love of a' that's gude ; — . 
dinna talk that gate ! and dinna greet sae ! your father wad 
be sair vexed to hear ye or to see ye." 

I cannot help it," said Ellen ; — "it is true." 

" It may be sae ; but dear Miss Ellen, dinna let it come to 
your father's ken ; ye're his very heart's idol ; he disna merit 
auglit but gude frae ye." 

" I know it, Mrs. Allen," said Ellen weeping, and so I do 
love hira — better than anybody in the world, except two. 
But oh !, I want my brother ! — I don't know how to be happy 
or good either without him. I want him all the while." 

" Miss Ellen, I kenned and loved your dear mither weel 
for mony a day — will ye mind if I speak a word to her 
bairn ?" 

" No, dear Mrs. Allen — I'll thank you ; — did you know 
my mother ?" 

" Wha suld if I didna? she was brought up in my arms, 
and a dear lassie. Ye're no muckle like her. Miss Ellen ; — 
ye're mair bonny than her ; and no a' thegither sae frack ; — 
though she was douce and kind too." 

" I wish" — Ellen began, and stopped. 

" My dear bairn, there is Ane abuve wha' disposes a 
things for us ; and he isna weel pleased when his children 
fash themselves wi' his dispensations. He has ta'en and 
placed you here, for your ain gude I trust, — I'm sure it's 
for the gude of us a', — and if ye haena a' things ye wad 



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^ish, Miss Ellen, ye hae Him ; dinna forget that my ain 
bairn." 

Ellen returned heartily and silently the embrace of the old 
Scotchwoman, and when she left her, set herself to follow 
her advice. She tried to gather her scattered thoughts and 
smooth her ruffled feehngs, in using this quiet time to tho 
best advantage. At the end of half an hour she felt like 
another creature ; and began to refresh herself with softly 
singing some of her old hymns. 

The argument which was carried on in the parlor sunk at 
length into silence without coming to any conclusion. 

" Where is Miss Ellen ?" Mrs. Lindsay asked of a servant 
that came in. 

" She is up in her room, ma'am, singing." 

" Tell her I want her." 

"No — stop," said Mr. Lindsay; — "I'll go myself." 

Her door was a little ajar, and he softly opened it without 
disturbing her. Ellen was still sitting on the floor before the 
window, looking out through it, and in rather a low tone 
singing the last verse of the hymn Rock of Ages." 

WTiile I draw this fleeting breath, — 
When my eyelids close in death, — 
When I rise to -worlds unknown, 
And behold thee on thy throne, — 
Rock of Ages, cleft for me. 
Let me hide myself in thee ! 

Mr. Lindsay stood still at the door. Ellen paused a minute, 
and then sung " Jerusalem my happy home." Her utter- 
ance was so distinct that he heard every word. He did not 
move till she had finished, and then he came softly in. 

" Singing songs to the moon, Ellen ?" 

Ellen started and got up from the floor. 

" No sir ; I was singing them to myself." 

" Not entirely, for I heard the last one. Why do you 
make yourself sober singing such sad things ?" 

" I don't, sir ; they are not sad to me ; they are delightful. 
I love them dearly." 

" How came you to love them ? it is not natural for a child 
of your age. What do you love them for, my little daughter ?" 

" sir, there are a great many reasons, — I don't know how 
many." 



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301 



"I will have patience, Ellen ; I want to hear them all." 

" I love them because I love to think of the things the 
hymns are about, — I love the tunes, dearly, — and I hke both 
the words and the tunes better, I believe, because 1 have 
sung them so often with friends." 

" Humph ! T guessed as much. Isn't that the strongest 
reason of the three ?" 

" I don't know sir ; I don't think it is." 

" Is all your heart in America, Ellen, or have you any left 
to bestow on us ?" 

" Yes sir." 

" Not very much !" 

*• I love you, father," said Ellen, laying her cheek gently 
alongside of his. 

" And your grandmother, Ellen ?" said Mr. Lindsay, 
clasping his arms around her. 

" Yes sir." 

But he well understood that the " yes" was fainter. 
*' And your aunt ? — speak, Ellen." 

" I don't love her as much as I Avish I did," said Ellen ; — 
" I love her a little I suppose. why do you ask me such 
a hard question, father ?" 

" That is something you have nothing to do with," said 
Mr. Lindsay half laughing. " Sit down here," he added, 
placing her on his knee, " and sing to me again." 

Ellen was heartened by the tone of his voice, and pleased 
with the request. She immediately sang with great spirit a 
little methodist hymn she had learned when a mere child. 
The wild air and simple words singularly suited each other. 

Canaan — bright Canaan — 

1 am bound for the land of Canaan. 

O Canaan ! it is my happy, happy home— 
lamboundfor the land of Canaan. 

" Does that sound sad, sir ?" 

" Why yes, — I think it does, rather, Ellen. Does it make 
you feel merry ?" 

" Not merry, sir, — it isn't merry ; but I like it very much.'* 
" The tune or the words ?" 
" Both, sir." 

" What do yon mean by the land of Canaan ?" 
" Heaven, sir." 



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And do you like to think about that ? at your age ?" 
" Why certainly, sir ! Why not ?" 
" Why do you ?" 

** Because it is a bright and happy place," said Ellen 
gravely ; — where there is no darkness, nor sorrow, nor death, 
neitlier pain nor crying ; — and my mother is there, and my 
dear Alice, and my Saviour is there ; and I hope I shall be 
there too." 

"You are shedding tears now, Ellen." 

" And if I am, sir, it is not because I am unhappy. It 
doesn't make me unhappy to think of these things — it makes 
me glad ; and the more 1 think of them the happier I am." 

" You are a strange child. I am afraid your grandmother 
is right, and that you are hurting yourself with poring over 
serious matters that you are too young for." 

" She would not think so if she knew," said Ellen sighing. 
I should not be happy at all without that, and you would 
not love me half so well, nor she either. father," she ex- 
claimed, pressing his hand in botli her own and laying her 
face upon it, — " do not let me be hindered in that ! forbid me 
anything you please, but not that ! the better I learn to 
please my best Friend, the better I shall please you." 

"Whom do you mean by 'your best friend?' " 

".The Lord my Redeemer." 

" W^here did you get these notions ?" said Mr. Lindsay, 
after a short pause. 

" From my mother, first, sir." 

" She had none of them when I knew her." 

" She had afterwards, then, sir ; and !" — Ellen hesi- 
tated, — " I wish ev^erybody had them too !" 

" My little daughter," said Mr. Lindsay, affectionately kiss- 
ing the cheeks and eyes which were moist again, — " I shall 
indulge you in this matter. But you must keep your brow | 
clear, or I shall revoke my grant. And you belong to me 1 
now ; and there are some things I want you to forget, and 
not remember, — you understand ? Now don't sing songs to 
the moon any more to-night — good night, my daughter." 

" They think religion is a strange melancholy thing," said 
Ellen to herself as she went to bed ; — " 1 must not give them 
reason to think so — I must let my rushlight burn bright — I 
must take care— I never had more need !" 



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303 



And with an earnest prayer for help to do so, she laid her 
head on the pillow. 

Mr. Lindsay told his mother he had made up his mind to 
let Ellen have her way for a while, and begged that she 
might return to her old room and hours again. Mrs. Lind- 
say would not hear of it. Ellen had disobeyed her orders, 
she said ; — she must take the consequences. 

" She is a bold little hussey, to venture it," said Mr. Lind- 
say, — " but I do not think there is any naughtiness in her 
heart." 

" No, not a bit. I could not be angry with her. It is 
only those preposterous notions she has got from somebody 
or other." 

Mr. Lindsay said no more. Next morning he asked Ellen 
privately what she did the first thing after breakfast. Prac- 
tise on the piano for an hour, she said. 

" Couldn't 3^ou do it at any other time?" 

"Yes sir, I could practise in the afternoon, only grand- 
mother likes to have me with her." 

'* Let it be done tlien, Ellen, in future." 

" And what shall I do with the hour after breakfast, sir ?" 

" Whatever you please," said he smiling. 

Ellen thanked him in the way she knew he best liked, and 
gratefully resolved he should have as little cause as possible 
to complain of her. Very little cause indeed did he or any 
one else have. No fault could be found Avith her perform- 
ance of duty ; and her cheerfulness was constant and unvary- 
ing. She remembered her brother's recipe against loneliness 
and made use of it ; she remembered Mrs. Allen's advice and 
followed it ; she grasped the promises, " he that cometh to 
me shall never hunger," — and " seek and ye shall find," — 
precious words that never yet disappointed any one ; and 
though tears might often fall that nobody knew of, and she 
might not be so merry as her friends would have liked to see 
her ; though her cheerfulness was touched with sobriety, 
they could not complain ; for her brow was always unruffled, 
lier voice clear, her smile ready. 

After a while she was restored to her own sleeping room 
again, and permitted to take up her former habits. 



CHAPTER LI. 



Other days come back on me 
With recollected music. 

Byron. 

Though nothino^ could be smoother than the general course 
of her hfe, Ellen's principles were still now and then severely 
tried. 

Of all in the house, next to Mr. Lindsay, she liked the 
company of the old housekeeper best. She was a simple- 
minded Christian, a most benevolent and kind-hearted, and 
withal sensible and respectable person ; devotedly attached 
to the family, and very fond of Ellen in particular. Ellen 
loved, when she could, to get alone with her, and hear her 
talk of her mother's young days ; and she loved furthermore, 
and almost as much, to talk to Mrs. Allen of her own. Ellen 
could to no one else lisp a word on the subject ; and without 
dwelhng directly on those that she loved, she delighted to 
tell over to an interested listener the things she had done, 
seen, and felt, with them. 

" I wish that child was a Httle more like other people," 
said Lady Keith one evening in the latter end of the winter. 

" Humph !" said Mr. Lindsay, — " 1 don't remember at this 
moment any one that I think she could resemble without 
losing more than she gained." 

O it's of no use to talk to you about Ellen, brother ! You 
can take up things fast enough when you find them out, but 
you never will see with other people's eyes." 

" What do your eyes see, Catherine ?" 
She is altogether too childish for her years ; she is really 
a baby." 

" I don't know," said Mr. Lindsay sminng ; " you should 
ask M. Muller about that. He was holding forth to me for 
a quarter of an hour the other day, and could not stint in 



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305 



her praises. She will go on, he says, just as fast as he 
pleases to take her." 

" yes — in intelligence and so on, I know she is not 
wanting ; that is not what I mean," 

She is perfectly lady-like always," said Mrs. Lindsay. 

*' Yes, I know that, — and perfectly child-like too." 

" I like that," said Mr. Lindsay ; " I have no fancy for 
your grown-up httle girls." 

"Well!" said Lady Keith in despair, "you may like it; 
but I tell you she is too much of a child nevertheless, — in 
other ways. She hasn't an idea of a thousand things. It 
was only the other day she was setting out to go, at mid-day, 
— through the streets with a basket on her arm — some of 
that fruit for M. Muller I believe." 

"If she has any fault," said Mr. Lindsay, "it is want of 
pride, — but I don't know — I can't say I wish she had more 
of it." 

" no, of course ! I suppose not. And it doesn't take 
anything at all to make the tears come in her eyes ; the other 
day I didn't know whether to laugh or be vexed at the way 
she went on with a kitten, for half an hour or more. 1 wish 
you had seen her ! I am not sure she didn't cry over that. 
Now I suppose the next thing, brother, you will go and make 
her a present of one." 

" If you have no heavier charges to bring," said Mr. Lind- 
say smiling, " I'll take breath and think about it." 

" But she isn't like anybody else, — she don't care for 
young companions, — she don't seem to fancy any one out of 
the family unless it is old Mrs. Allen, and she is absurd about 
her. You know she is not very well lately, and Ellen goes to 
see her I know every-day, regularly ; and there are the Gor- 
dons and Carpenters and Murrays and Mclntoshes — she sees 
them continually, but I don't think she takes a great deal of 
pleasure in their company. The fact is, she is too sober." 

" She has as sweet a smile as I ever saw," said Mr. Lind- 
say, — " and as hearty a laugh, when she does laugh ; she is 
none of your gigglers." 

" But when she does laugh," said Lady Keith, " it is not 
when other people do. 1 think she is generally grave when 
there is most merriment around her." 

" I love to hear her laugh," said Mrs. Lindsay ; " it is in 



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Bucli a low sweet tone, and seems to come so from the very 
gpring of enjoyment. Yet 1 must say I think Catherine is 
half right." 

" With half an advocate," said Lady Keith, " I shall not 
effect much." 

Mr. Lindsay uttered a low whistle. At this moment the 
door opened, and Ellen came gravely in, with a book in her 
hand. 

*' Come here, Ellen," said Mr. Lindsay holding out his 
hand, — " here's your aunt says you don't like anybody — how 
is it ? are you of an unsociable disposition ?" 

Ellen's smile would have been a sufficient apology to him 
for a much graver fault. 

" Anybody out of the house, I meant," said Lady Keith. 

" Speak, Ellen, and clear yourself," said Mr. Lindsay. 
I like some people," said Ellen smihng ; — " I don't think 
I like a great many people very much." 

*' But you don't like young people," said Lady Keith, — 
that is what I complain of; and it's unnatural. Now 
there's the other day, when you went to ride with Miss 
Gordon and her brother, and Miss MacPherson and her bro- 
ther — I heard you say you were not sorry to get home. 
Now where will you find pleasanter young people ?" 

" Why don't you like them, Ellen ?" said Mrs. Lindsay. 

"I do like them, ma'am, tolerably." 

" W^hat does ' tolerably ' mean ?" 
I should have hked my ride better the other day," said 
Ellen, " if they had talked about sensible things." 

Nonsense !" said Lady Keith. Society cannot be made 
up of M. Mullers." 

" What did they talk about, Ellen ?" said Mr. Lindsay, 
who seemed amused. 

" About partners in dancing, — at least the ladies did, — and 
dresses, and different gentlemen, and what this one said and 
the other one said, — it wasn't very amusing to me." 

Mr, Lindsay laughed. And the gentlemen, Ellen ; how 
did you like them ?" 

*' I didn't like them particularly, sir." 

" What have you against them, Ellen ?" 

" I don't wish to say anything against them, aunt Keith.'* 
Come, come, — speak out." 



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307 



*' I didn't like their talking, sir, any better than the ladies' • 
and besides that, I don't think they are very polite," 

" Why not?" said Mr. Lindsay, highly amused. 

" I don't think it was very pohte," said Ellen, " for them 
to sit still on their horses when I went out, and let Brock. esby 
lielp me to mount. They took me up at M. Muller's, you 
know, sir ; M. Muller had been obliged to go out and leave 
me." 

Mr. Lindsay threw a glance at his sister which she rather 
resented. 

" And pray what do you expect, Ellen ?" said she. " You 
are a mere child — do you think you ought to be treated as a 
woman ?" 

" I don't wish to be treated as anything but a child, aunt 
Keith." 

But Ellen remembered well one day at home when John 
had been before the door on horseback and she had lun out 
to give him a message, — his instantly dismounting to hear 
it. " And I was more a child then," she thought, — " and he 
wasn't a stranger." 

Whom do you like Ellen ?" inquired Mr. Lindsay, w^ho 
looked extremely satisfied with the result of the examination. 

" I like M. Muller, sir." 

" Nobody else ?" 

" Mrs. Allen." 

" There !" exclaimed Lady Keith. 
Have you come from her room just now ?" 
Yes sir." 

" What's your fancy for going there ?" 
*' I like to hear her talk, sir, and to read to her ; it gives 
her a great deal of pleasure ;— ^and I like to talk to her." 
" What do you talk about?" 
" She talks to me about my mother" — 
" And you ?" 

" I like to talk to her about old times," said Ellen, chang- 
ing color. 

" Profitable conversation !" said Mrs. Lindsay. 
" You will not go to her room any more, Ellen," said Mr. 
Lindsay. 

In grfeat dismay at what Mrs. Allen would think, Elleu 
began a remonstrance. But only one word was uttered ; 



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Mr. Lindsay's hand was upon her Jps. He next took the 
book she still held. 

" Is this what you have been reading to her?" 

Ellen bowed in answer. 

" Who wrote all this ?" 

Before she could speak he had turned to the front leaf 
and read, " To my little sister." He quietly put the book in 
his pocket ; and Ellen as quietly left the room. 

*' I am glad you have said that," said Lady Keith. " You 
are quick enough when you see anything for yourself, but you 
never will believe other people." 

" There is nothing wrong here," said Mr. Lindsay, — " only 
I will not have her going back to those old recollections she 
is so fond of. I wish 1 could make her drink Lethe !" 

*' What is the book ?" said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" I hardly know," said he, turning it over, — " except it 
is from that person that • seems to have obtained such an 
ascendancy over her — it is full of his notes — it is a religious 
work." 

" She reads a great deal too much of that sort of thing," 
said Mrs. Lindsay. I wish you would contrive to put a stop 
to it. You can do it better than any one else ; she is very 
fond of you." 

That was not a good argument. Mr. Lindsay was silent ; 
his thoughts went back to the conversation held that evening 
in Ellen's room, and to certain other things ; and perhaps he 
was thinking that if religion had m.uch to do with making 
her what she was, it was a tree that bore good fruits. 

" I think," said Lady Keith, " that is one reason why she 
takes so little to the young people she sees. I have seen her 
sit perfectly grave when they were all laughing and talking 
around her — it really looks singular — I don't like it — I pre- 
sume she would have thought it wicked to laugh with them. 
And the other night ; — I missed her from the younger part 
of the company, where she should Iiave been, and there she 
was in the other room with M, Muller and somebody el&i3, — 
gravely listening to their conversation !" 

I saw her," said Mr. Lindsay smiling, — " and she looked 
anything but dull or sober. I would rather have her gra>ity, 
after all, Catherine, than anybody else's merriment J know." 

" I wish she had never been detained in America after 



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309 



the time when she should have come to us," said Mrs. 
Lindsay. 

" I wish the woman had what she deserves that kept back 
the letters !" said Mr. Lindsay. 

"Yes indeed !" said his sister; — " and I have been in con- 
tinual fear of a visit from that very person that you say gave 
Ellen the book." 

" He isn't here !" said Mr. Lindsay. 
I don't know where he is ; — but he was on this side of 
the water, at the time Ellen came on ; so she told me." 

" I wish he was in Egypt !" 

** I don't intend he shall see her if he comes," said Lady 
Keith, " if I can possibly prevent it. I gave Porterfield 
orders, if any one asked for her, to tell me immediately, and 
not her upon any account ; but nobody has come hitherto, 
and I am in hopes none will." 

Mr. Lindsay arose and walked up and down the room with 
folded arms in a very thoughtful style. 

Ellen with some difficulty bore herself as usual throughout 
the next day and evening, though constantly on the rack to 
get possession of her book again. It was not spoken of nor 
hinted at. When another morning came she could stand it 
no longer ; she went soon after breakfast into Mr. Lindsay's 
study, where he was writing. Ellen came behind him and 
laying both her arms over his shoulders, said in his ear, 

" Will you let me have my book again, father?" 

A kiss was her only answer. Ellen waited. 
Go to the bookcases," said Mr. Lindsay presently, " or to 
the bookstore, and choose out anything you like, Ellen, in- 
stead." 

" I wouldn't exchange it for all that is in them !" she an- 
swered with some warmth, and with the husky feeling com- 
ing in her throat. Mr. Lindsay said nothing. 

" At any rate," whispered Ellen after a minute, " you will 
not destroy it, or do anything to it ? — you will take care of 
it and let me have it again, won't you, sir?" 

" I will try to take care of you, my daughter." 

Again Ellen paused ; and then came round in front of him 
to plead to more purpose. 

I will do anything in the world for you, sir," she said 
Earnestly, " if you will give me my book again." 



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** You must do anything in the world for me," said he» 
Bmihng and pincliing her cheek, — " without that." 

But it is mine !" Ellen ventured to urge, though tremb- 

" Come, come !" said Mr. Lindsay, his tone changing, — 
*' and you are mine, you must understand." 

Ellen stood silent, struggling, between the alternate surg- 
ings of passion and checks of prudence and conscience. But 
at last the wave rolled too high and broke. Clasping her 
hands to her face, she exclaimed, not indeed violently, but 
with sufficient energy of expression, it's not right ! — it's 
not right !" 

Go to your room and consider of that," said Mr. Lind' 
say. " I do not wish to see you again to-day, Ellen." 

Ellen was wretched. Not from grief at her loss merely ; 
that she could have borne ; that had not even the greatest 
share in her distress ; she was at war with herself. Her 
mind was in a perfect turmoil. She had been a passionate 
child in earlier days ; under religion's happy reign that had 
long ceased to be true of her ; it was only very rarely that 
she or those around her were led to remember or suspect 
that it had once been the case. She was surprised and half 
frightened at herself now, to find the strength of the old 
temper suddenly roused. She was utterly and exceedingly 
out of humor with Mr. Lindsay, and consequently with every- 
body and everything else ; consequently, conscience would 
not give her a moment's peace ; consequently, that day was 
a long and bitter fight betwixt right and wrong. Duties were 
neglected, because she could not give her mind to them ; 
then they crowded upon her notice at undue times ; all was 
miserable confusion. In vain she would try to reason and 
school herself into right feeling ; at one thought of her lost 
treasure passion would come flooding up and drown all her 
reasonings and endeavors. She grew absolutely weary. 

But the day passed and the night came, and she went to 
bed without being able to make up her mind ; and she arose 
in the morning to renew the battle. 

" How long is this miserable condition to last !" she said 
to herself. " Till you can entirely give up your feeling of 
resentment, and apologize to Mr. Lindsay," said conscience. 
*' Apologize ! — but I haven't done wrong." " Yes, you have/ 



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311 



said conscience; "you spoke improperly; he is justly dis- 
pleased ; and you must make an apology before there can be 
any peace." " But I said the truth — it is not right — it is not 
right ! it is wrong ; and am / to go and make an apology ! — 
I can't do it." " Yes, for the wrong you have done," said 
conscience, — "that is all your 'concern. And he has a right 
to do what he pleases with you and yours, and he may have 
his own reasons for what he has done ; and he loves you very 
much, and you ought not to let him remain displeased with 
you one moment longer than you can help — he is in the place 
of a father to you, and you owe him a child's duty." 

But pride and passion still fought against reason and con- 
science, and Ellen was miserable. The dressing-bell rang. 

" There ! I shall have to go down to breakfast directly, 
and they will see how I look, — they will see I am angry and 
ill-humored. Well, I ought to be angry ! But what will 
they think then of my rehgion ? — is my rushlight burning 
bright ? am I honoring Christ now ? — is this the way to 
make his name and his truth lovely in their eyes ? Oh shame ! 
shame ! — 1 have enough to humble myself for. And all 
yesterday, at any rate, they know I was angry." 

Ellen threw herself upon her knees ; and when she rose 
up the spirit of pride was entirely broken, and resentment 
had died with self- justification. 

The breakfast-bell rang before she was quite ready. She 
was afraid she could not see Mr. Lindsay until he should be 
at the table. " But it shall make no difference," she said to 
herself, — " they know I have offended him — it is right they 
should hear what I have to say." 

They were all at the table. But it made no difference. 
Ellen went straight to Mr. Lindsay, and laying one hand 
timidly in his and the other on his shoulder, she at once 
humbly and frankly confessed that she had spoken as she 
ought not the day before, and that she was very sorry she 
had displeased him, and begged his forgiveness. It was in- 
stantly granted. 

" You are a good child, Ellen," said Mr. Lindsay as he 
fondly embraced her. 

" Oh no, sir ! — don't call me so — I am everything in the 
world but that." 



312 



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" Then all the rest of the world are good children. Why 
didn't you come to me before?" 

" Because I couldn't sir ; — I felt wrong all da}^ yesterday." 

Mr. Lindsay laughed and kissed her, and bade her sit down 
and eat her breakfast. 

It was about a month after this that he made her a pre- 
sent of a beautiful little watch. Ellen's first look was of 
great delight ; the second was one of curious doubtful expres- 
sion, directed to his face, half tendering the watch back to 
him as she saw that he understood her. 

'* Why," said he smiling, *' do you mean to say you 
would rather have that than this ?" 

" A great deal !" 

" No," said he, hanging the watch round her neck, — " you 
shall not have it ; but you may make your mind easy, for I 
have it safe, and it shall come back to you again some time 
or other." 

With this promise Ellen was obliged to be satisfied. 

The summer passed in the enjoyment of all that wealth, of 
purse and of affection both, could bestow upon their darling. 
Early in the season the family returned to the Braes. Ellen 
liked it there much better than in the city ; there w^as more 
that reminded her of old times. The sky and the land, 
though different from those she best loved, were yet but 
another expression of nature's face ; it was the same face 
still ; and on many a sunbeam Ellen traveled across the 
Atlantic* She was sorry to lose M. Muller, but she could 
not have kept him in Edinburgh ; he quitted Scotland about 
that time. 

Other masters attended her in the country, or she went 
to Edinburgh to attend them. Mr. Lindsay liked that very 
well ; he was often there himself, and after her lesson he 
loved to have her with him in the library and at dinner and 
during the drive home. Ellen liked it because it was so 
pleasant to him ; and besides, there was a variety about it, 
and the drives were always her delight, and she chose his 
company at any time rather than that of her aunt and grand- 
mother. So, many a happy day that summer had she and 



• " Then by a sunbeam I will climb to thee "— George Herbert. 



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313 



Mr. Lindsay together ; and many an odd pleasure in the 
course of them did he find or make for her. Sometimes it 
was a new book, sometimes a new sight, sometimes a new 
trinket. According to his promise, he had purchased her a 
fine horse ; cjnd almo>t daily Ellen was upon his back, and 
with Mr. Lindsay in the course of the summer scoured the 
country far and near. Every scene of any historic interest 
within a good distance of tlie Braes " was visited, and some 
of them again and again. Pleasures of all kinds were at 
Ellen's disposal ; and to her father and grandmother she was 
truly the light of the eyes. 

And Ellen was happy ; but it was not all these things, 
nor even her affection for Mr. Lindsay, that made her so. 
He saw her calm sunshiny face and busy happy demeanor, 
and fancied, though he had sometimes doubts about it, that 
she did not trouble herself much with old recollections, or 
would in time get over them. It was not so. Ellen never 
forgot ; and sometimes when she seemed busiest and happi- 
est, it was the thought of an absent and distant friend that 
was nerving her energies and giving color to her cheek. Still, 
as at first, it was in her hour alone that Ellen laid down care 
and took up submission ; it was that calmed her brow and 
brightened her smile. And though now and then she shed 
bitter tears, and repeated her despairing exclamation, " Well ! 
I will see him in heaven !" — in general she lived on hope, 
and kept at the bottom of her heart some of her old feeling 
of confidence. 

Perhaps her brow grew somewhat meeker and her smile 
less bright as the year rolled on. Months flew by, and 
brought her no letters. Ellen marveled and sorrowed in 
vain. One day mourning over it to Mrs. Allen, the good 
housekeeper asked her if her friends knew her address ? El- 
len at first said " to be sure," but after a few minutes' reflec- 
tion was obliged to confess that she was not certain about it. 
It would have been just like Mr. Humphreys to lose sight 
entirely of such a matter, and very natural for her, in her 
grief and confusion of mind and inexperience, to be equally 
forgetful. She wrote immmediately to Mr. Humphreys and 
supplied the defect ; and hope brightened again. Once be- 
fore she had written, on the occasion of the refunding her 
expenses. Mr. Lindsay and his mother were very prompt to 
VOL. II. 14 



314 



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do this, though Ellen could not tell what the exact amount 
might be ; they took care to be on the safe side, and sent 
more than enough. Ellen's mind had changed since she 
came to Scotland ; she was sorry to have the money go ; she 
understood the feeling with which it was sent, and it hurt 
her. 

Two or three months after the date of her last letter, she 
received at length one from Mr. Humphreys, a long, very 
kind, and very wise one. She lived upon it for a good while. 
Mr. Lindsay's bills were returned. Mr. Humphreys declined 
utterly to accept of them, telling Ellen that he looked upon 
her as his own child up to the time that her friends took her 
out of his hands, and that he owed her more than she owed 
him. Ellen gave the money, she dared not give the whole 
message, to Mr. Lindsay. The bills were instantly and 
haughtily re-enclosed and sent back to America. 

Still nothing was heard from Mr. John. Ellen wondered, 
waited, wept ; sadly quieted herself into submission, and as 
time went on, clung faster and faster to her Bible and the 
refuge she found there 



CHAPTER LII. 



Hon. — Why didn't you show him up, block. «ad 1 
Butler. — Show him up, sir ? With all my leart, sir. 
Up or down, all's one to me. 

Good NiiTURED Man. 

One evening, it was New Year's eve, a large party was 
expected at Mr. Lindsay's. Ellen was not of an age to go 
abroad to parties, but at home her father and grandmother 
never could bear to do without her when they had company. 
Generally Ellen liked it very much ; not called upon to take 
any active part herself, she had leisure to observe and enjoy 
in quiet ; and often heard music, and often by Mr. Lindsay's 
side listened to conversation, in which she took great pleasure. 
To-night, however, it happened that Ellen's thoughts were 
running on other things ; and Mrs. Lindsay's woman, who 
had come in to dress her, was not at all satisfied with her 
grave looks and the little concern she seemed to take in what 
was going on. 

** I wish. Miss Ellen, you'd please hold your head up, and 
look somewhere — I don't know when I'll get your hair done 
if you keep it down so." 

" Mason, I think that'll do — it looks very well — you 
needn't do anything more." 

" I beg your pardon, Miss Ellen, but you know it's your 
grandmother that must be satisfied, and she will have it just 
so ; — there, — now that's going to look lovely ; — but indeed 
Miss Ellen she won't be pleased if you carry such a soberish 
face down stairs, — and what will the master say! Most 
young ladies would be as bright as a bee at being going to 
see so many people, and indeed it's what you should." 

" I had rather see one or two persons than one or two hun- 
dred," said Ellen, speaking half to herself and half to Mrs, 
Mason. 



316 



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" Well for pit3''s sake, Miss Ellen, dear, if you can, don't 
look as if it was a funeral it was. There ! 'taint much trou- 
ble to fix YOU, anyhow — if you'd only care a little more about 
it, it would be a blessing. Stop till I fix this lace. The 
master will call you his white rose-bud to-night, sure 
enouirh." 

" That's nothing new," said Ellen, half smiling. 

Mason left her ; and feeling the want of something to raise 
her spints, Ellen sorrowfully went to her Bible, and slowly 
turning it over, looked along its pages to catch a sight of 
something cheering before she went down stairs. 

*' This God is our God for ever and ever : he will he our 
guide even unto death." 

Isn't that enough ?" thought Ellen, as her eyes filled in 
answer. " It ought to be — John would say it was — oh I 
where is he !" 

She went on turning over leaf after leaf. 

" Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in 
thee r 

"That is true surely," she thought. "And I do trust in 
him — I am blessed — 1 am happy, come what may. He will 
let nothing come to those that trust in him but what is good 
for them — if he is my God I have enough to make me happy 
— I ought to be happy — I will be happy ! — I will trust him, 
and take what he gives me ; and try to leave, as John used to 
tell me, my affairs in his hand." 

For a minute tears flowed ; then they were wiped away ; 
and the smile she gave Mr. Lindsay when she met him in the 
hall was not less bright than usual. 

The company were gathered, but it was still early in the 
evening, when a gentleman came who declined to enter the 
drawing-room, and asked for Miss Lindsay. 

" Miss Lindsay is engaged." 

" An' what for suld ye say s:ie, Mr. Porterfield ?" cried the 
voice of the housekeeper, who was passing in the hall, — 
" M'hen ye ken as weel as I do that Miss Ellen " — 

The butler stopped her with saying something about " my 
lady," and repeated his answer to the gentleman. 

The latter wrote a word or two on a card which he drew 
from his pocket, and desired him to carry it to Miss Ellen. He 
cai-ried it to Lady Keith. 



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317 



" What sort of a person, Porterfield ?" said Lady Keith, 
crumpling the paper in her fingers ; and withdrawing a little 
from the company. 

" Uncommon fine gentleman, my lady," Porterfield an- 
swered in a low tone. 

" A gentleman ?" said Lady Keith inquiringly. 

*' Certain, my lady ! — and as up and down spoken as if he 
was a prince of the blood ; he's somebody that is not accus- 
tomed to be said * no' to, for sure." 

Lady Keith hesitated. Recollecting however that she had 
just left Ellen safe in the music-room, she made up her mind ; 
and desired Porterfield to show the stranger in. As he en- 
tered, unannounced, her eyes unwillingly verified the butler's 
judgment ; and to the inquiry whether he might see Miss 
Lindsay she answered very politely, though with regrets that 
Miss Lindsay was engaged. 

" May I be pardoned for asking," said the stranger, with 
the slightest possible approach to a smile, " whether that de- 
cision is imperative ? I leave Scotland to-morrow — my rea- 
sons for wishing to see Miss Lindsay this evening are urgent." 

Lady Keith could hardly believe her ears, or command her 
countenance to keep company with her expressions of " sor- 
row that it was impossible — Miss Lindsay could not have the 
pleasure that evening." 

" May I beg then to know at what hour I may hope to see 
her to-morrow ?" 

Hastily resolving that Ellen should on the morrow accept 
a long-given invitation. Lady Keith answered that she would 
not be in town — she would leave Edinburgh at an early 
hour." 

The stranger bowed and withdrew ; that was all the by- 
standers saw. But Lady Keith, who had winced under an 
eye that she could not help fancying read her too well, saw 
that in his parting look which made her uneasy ; beckoning 
a servant who stood near, she ordered him to wait upon that 
gentleman to the door. 

The man obeyed ; but the stranger did not take his cloak 
and made no motion to go. 

" No sir ! not that way," he said sternly, as the servant 
laid his hand on the lock ; — " show me to Miss Lindsay !" 

" Miss Ellen ?" said the man doubtfully, coming back, and 



318 



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thinking from the gentleman's manner that he must have mis- 
understood Lady Keith ; — " where is Miss Ellen, Arthur ?" 

The person addressed threw his head back towards the 
door he had just come from on the other side of the hall. 

*' This way sir, if you please, — what name, sir?" 

" No name — stand back !" said the stranger as he entered. 

There were a number of people gathered round a lady who 
was at the piano singing. Ellen was there in the midst of 
them. The gentleman advanced quietly to the edge of the 
group and stood there without being noticed ; Ellen's eyes 
were bent on the floor. The expression of her face touched 
and pleased him greatly ; it was precisely what he wished to 
see. Without having the least shadow of sorrow upon it, 
there was in all its lines that singular mixture of gravity and 
sweetness that is never seen but where religion and discipline 
have done their work well ; the writing of the wisdom that 
looks soberly, and the love that looks kindly, on all things. 
He was not sure at first whether she were intently listening 
to the music, or whetlier her mind was upon something far 
different and far away ; he thought the latter. He was 
right. Ellen at the moment had escaped from the company 
and the noisy sounds of the performer at her side ; and 
while her eye was curiousl}^ tracing out the pattern of the 
carpet, her mind was resting itself in one of the verses she 
had been reading that same evening. Suddenly, and as 
it seemed, from no connection with anything in or out 
of her thoughts, there came to her mind the image of John 
as she had seen him that first evening she ever saw him, at 
Carra-carra, when she looked up from the boiling chocolate 
and espied him, — standing in an attitude of waiting near the 
door. Ellen at first wondered how that thought should have 
come into her head just then ; the next moment, from a 
sudden impulse, she raised her eyes to search for the cause, 
and saw John's smile. 

It would not be easy to describe the change in Ellen's face. 
Lightning makes as quick and as brilliant an illumination, but 
lightning does not stay. With a spring she reached him, and 
seizing both his hands drew him out of the door near which 
they were standing ; and as soon as they were hidden from 
view threw herself into his arras in an agony of joy. Before 
however either of them could say a word, she had caught his 



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819 



hand again, and led him back along the hall to the private 
staircase ; she mounted it rapiidly to her room ; and there 
she again threw herself into his arms, exclaiming, " Oh John ! 
— my dear John ! my dear brother !" 

But neither smiles nor words would do for the overcharged 
heart. The tide of joy ran too strong, and too much swelled 
from the open sources of love and memory, to keep any 
bounds. And it kept none. Ellen sat down, and bowing hei 
head on the arm of the sofa wept with all the vehement pas- 
sion of her childhood, quivering from head to foot with con- 
vulsive sobs. John might guess from the out-pouring now 
how much her heart had been secretly gathering for months 
past. For a little while he walked up and down the room ; 
but this excessive agitation he was not willing should continue. 
He said nothing ; sitting down beside Ellen on the sofa, he 
quietly possessed himself of one of her hands ; and when in 
her excitement the hand struggled to get away again, it was 
not permitted. Ellen understood that very well and imme- 
diately checked herself. Better than words,, the calm firm 
grasp of his hand quieted her. Her sobbing stilled ; she 
turned from the arm of the sofa, and leaning her head upon him 
took his hand in both hers and pressed it to her lips as if she 
were half beside herself. But that was not permitted to last 
either, for his hand quickly imprisoned hers again. There 
was silence still. Ellen could not look up yet, and neither 
seemed very forward to speak ; she sat gradually quieting 
down into fullness of happiness. 

I thought you never would come, John," at length Ellen 
half whispered, half said. 

" And I cannot stay now. I must leave vou to-morrow, 
Ellie." 

Ellen started up and looked up now. 

Leave me ! For how long ? Where are you going." 
" Home." 

" To America !" — Ellen's heart died within her. Was this 
the end of all her hopes ? did her confidence end here ? She 
shed no tears now. He could see that she grew absolutely 
still from intense feeling. 

" What's the matter, Elhe ?" said the low gentle tones she 
so well remembered ; — " I am leaving you but for a time. I 
must go home now, but if I live you will see me again." 



320 



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"01 wish I was going with you !" Ellen exclaimed, burst- 
ing into tears. 

" My dear Ellie !" — said her brother in an altered voice, 
drawing her again to his arms, — '''you cannot wish it more 
than 1 !" 

" I never thought you would leave me here, John." 
Neither would I, if I could help it ; — neither will I a 
minute longer than I can help ; but Ave must both wait, my 
own Ellie. Do not cry so, for my sake !" 

" Wait ? — till when ?" said Ellen, not a little reassured. 

" I have no power now to remove you from your legal 
guardians, and you have no right to choose for yourself." 

" And when shall I ?" 

" In a few years." 

*' A few years ! — But in the meantime, John, w.hat shall I 
do without you ? — If I could see you once in a while — but 
there is no one here — not a single one — to help me to keep 
right ; no one talks to me as you used to ; and I am all the 
while afraid I shall go wrong in something ; — what shall I 
do ?" 

" What the weak must always do, Ellie, — seek for strength 
where it may be had." 

"And so I do, John," said Ellen weeping, — but I want 
you, — oh how much !" 

" Are you not happy here?" 

" Yes — I am happy — at least I thought I was half an hour 
ago, — as happy as 1 can be. I have everything to make me 
happy, except what Avould do it." 

" We must both have recourse to our old remedy against 
sorrow and loneliness — vou have not forgotten the use of it, 
Ellie ?" 

" No John," said Ellen, meeting his eyes with a tearful 
smile. 

" They love you here, do they not ?" 
** Very much — too much." 
** And you love them ?" 
« Yes." 

" That's a doubtful ' yes.' " 

" I do love my father — veiy much ; and my grandmother 
too, though not so much. I cannot help Icving them, — they 
love me so, But they are so unlike you !" 



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321 



** That is not much to the purpose, after all," said John 
sinihng. " There are varieties of excellence in the world." 

" yes, but that isn't what 1 mean ; it isn't a variety of 
excellence. They make me do everything that they have a 
mind, — I dont mean," she added smiling, "that that is not 
like you, — but you always had a reason ; they are different. 
My father makes me drink wine every now and then, — I 
don't like to do it, and he knows I do not, and 'I think that 
is the reason I have to do it." 

" That is not a matter of great importance, Ellie, provided 
they do not make you do something wrong." 

" They could not do that I hope ; and there is another 
thing they cannot make me do." 

" What is that ?" 

" Stay here when you will take me away." 

There was a few minutes' thoughtful pause on both sides. 

" You are grown, Ellie," said John, — " you are not the 
child I left you." 

" I don't know," said Ellen smiling, — " it seems to me I 
am just the same." 

" Let me see — look at me !" 

She raised her face, and amidst smiles and tears its look 
was not less clear and frank than his was penetrating. Just 
the same," was the verdict of her brother's eyes a moment 
afterwards. Ellen's smile grew bright as she read it there. 

" Why have you never come or written before, John ?" 

" I did not know where you were. I have not been in 
England for many months till quite lately, and I could not 
get your addfess. I think my father was without it for a 
long time, and when at last he sent it to me, the letter mis- 
carried — never reached me — there were delays upon delays." 

" And when you did get it ?" 

** I preferred coming to writing." 

" And now you must go home so soon !" 

" I must, Ellie. My business has lingered on a great 
while, and it is quite time I should return. I expect to sail 
next week — Mrs. Gillespie is going with me — her husband 
^tays behind till spring." 

Ellen sighed. 

" I made a friend of a friend of yours whoni I met in 
Switzerland last summer — M. Muller." 
14* 



822 



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" M. Muller ! did you ! I'm very glad !• I am very glad 
you know him — he is the best friend I have got here, after 
my father. I don't know what I should have done without 
him." 

" I have heard him talk of you," said John smiling. 

" He has just come back ; he was to be here this evening." 

There was a pause again. 

" It does not seem right to go home without you Ellie," 
said her brother then. I think you belong to me more 
than to anybody." 

That is exactly what I think !" said Ellen with one of 
her bright looks, and then bursting into tears ; — " I am very 
glad you think so too ! I will always do whatever you tell 
me — ^just as I used to — no matter what anybody else says." 
Perhaps I shall try you in two or three things, Ellie." 

" Will you ! in what ? it would make me so happy — so 
much happier — if I could be doing something to please you. 
I wish I was at home with you again !" 

" I will bring that about, Ellie, by-and-by, if you make 
your words good." 

" I shall be happy then," said Ellen, her old confidence 
standing stronger than ever, — " because I know you will if 
you say so. Though how you will manage it I cannot con- 
ceive. My father and grandmother and aunt cannot bear to 
hear me speak of America ; I believe they would be glad if 
there wasn't such a place in the world. They would not 
even let me think of it if they could help it ; I never dare 
mention your name, or say a word about old times. They 
are afraid of my loving anybody I believe. -They want to 
have me all to themselves." 

What will they say to you then, Ellie, if you leave them 
to give yourself to me ?" 

" I cannot help it," replied Ellen, — they must say what 
they please ;" — and with abundance of energy, and not a few 
tears, she went on ; — " I love them, but J had given myself 
to you a great while ago ; long before I was his daughter, 
you called me your little sister — I can't undo that, John, and 
I don't want to — it doesn't make a bit of difference that we 
were not born so !" 

John suddenly rose and began to walk up and do^vn the 
room. Ellen soon came to his side, and leaning upon his 



THE VIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



823 



arm as she had been used to do in past times, walked up and 
down with him, at first silently. 

"What is it you wanted me to do, John?" she said gently 
at length ; — " you said ' two or three things.' " 

" One is that you keep up a regular and full correspond- 
ence with me." 

" I am very glad you will let me do that," said Ellen, — • 
'* that is exactly what I should like, but — " 

" What?" 

" I am afraid they will not let me." 
" I will arrange that." 

"Very well," said Ellen joyously, — "then it will do. O 
it would make me so happy ! And you will write to me ?" 
" Certainly ! 

" And I will tell you everything about myself ; and you 
will tell me how I ought to do in all sorts of things ? that 
will be next best to being with you. And then you will keep 
me right," 

" I won't promise you that Ellie," said John smiling ; — 
"you must learn to keep yourself right." 

" I know you will, though, however you may smile. W^hat 
next?" 

" Read no novels." 

" I never do John. I knew you did not like it, and I have 
taken good care to keep out of the way of them. If I had 
told anybody why, though, they would have made me read a 
dozen." 

" Why Ellie !" said her brother, — " you must need some 
care to keep a straight line Avhere your course lies now." 

" Indeed I do, John," said Ellen, her eyes filling with tears, 
— " oh how I have felt that sometimes ! And then how I 
wanted you !" 

Her hand was fondly taken in his, as many a time it had 
been of old, and for a long time they paced up and down ; 
the conversation running sometimes in the strain that both 
loved and Ellen now never heard ; sometimes on other mat- 
ters ; such a conversation as those she had lived upon in 
former days, and now drank in with a delight and eagerness 
inexpressible. Mr. Lindsay would have been in dismay to 
have seen her upUfted face, -which, though tears were many 
a time there, was sparkling and glowing with life and joy in 



824 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



a manner lie had never known it. • She alnr.ost forgot what 
the morrow would bring, in the exquisite pleasure of the 
instant, and hung upon every word and look of her brother 
as if her life were there. 

"And in a few weeks," said Ellen at length, you will 
be in our old dear sitting-room again, and riding on the Black 
Prince ! — and 1 shall be here ! — and it will be — 

" It will be empty without you, Ellie ; — but we have a 
friend that is sufficient ; let us love him and be patient." 

" It is very hard to be patient," murmured Ellen. " But 
dear John there was something else you wanted me to do ? 
what is it ? you said ' two or three ' things." 

** I will leave that to another time." 

" But why ? I will do it whatever it be — pray tell me." 

"No," said he smiling, — "not now, — you shall know 
by-and-by — the time is not yet. Have you heard of your 
old friend Mr. Van Brunt ?" 

" No— what of him ?" 

** He has come out before the world as a Christian man." 
" Has he !" 

John took a letter from his porket and opened it. 

" You may see what my father says of him ; and what he 
sa3'S of you too, Ellie ; — he has missed you much." 

" 0. 1 was afraid he would," said Ellen, — " I was sure he 
did !" 

She took' the letter, but she could not see the words. John 
told her she might keep it to read at her leisure. 

" And how are they all at Ventnor ? and how is Mrs. 
Vawse ? and Margery ?" 

"All well. Mrs. Vawse spends about half her time at 
my father's." 

" I am very glad of that !" 

" Mrs. Marshman wrcle me to bring you back witli me if 
1 could, and said she had a home for yc .i always at Ventnor." 

" How kind she is," said Ellen; — 'how many friends I 
find everywhere. It seems to me, John, that everybody 
almost loves me." 

" That is a singular circumstance ! However, I am no ex- 
ce])tion to the rule, Ellie." 

"01 know that," said Ellen laughing. " And Mr. 
George ?" 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



325 



" Mr. George is well." 

" How much I love him !" said Ellen. " How much I 
would give to see him. I wish you could tell me about poor 
Captain and the Brownie, but I don't suppose you have heard 
of them. when I think of it all at home, how I want to 
be there ! — Oh John ! sometimes lately I have almost thought 
I should only see you again in heaven." 

" My dear Ellie ! I shall see you there, I trust ; but if we 
live we shall spend our lives here together first. And while 
we are parted we will keep as near as possible by praying for 
and writing to each other.* And what God orders let us 
quietly submit to." 

Ellen had much ado to command herself at the tone of 
these words and John's manner, as he clasped her in his 
arms and kissed her brow and lips. She strove to keep 
back a show of feeling that would distress and might dis- 
please him. But the next moment her fluttering spirits were 
stilled by hearing the few soft words of a prayer that he 
breathed over her head. It was a prayer for her and for him- 
self, and one of its petitions was that they might be kept to see 
each other again. Ellen wrote the words on her heart. 

"Are you going !" 

He showed his watch. 

" Well I shall see you to-morrow ?" 

" Shall you be here ?" 
Certainly — where else should I be ? What time must 
you set out ?" 

" I need not till afternoon, but — How early can 1 see 
you ?" 

" As early as you please. spend all the time with me 
you can, John !" 
So it was arranged. 

" And now Ellie, you must go down stairs and present me 
to Mr. Lindsay." 
" To my father !" 

For a moment Ellen's face was a compound of expressions. 
She instantly acquiesced however, and went down with her 
brother, her heart it must be confessed going very pit-a-pat 
indeed. She took him into the library, which was not this even- 
ing thrown open to company ; and sent a servant for Mr. Lind- 
say. While waiting for his coming, Ellen felt as if she had 



326 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



not the fair use of her senses. Was that John Humphreys 
quietly walking up and down the library ? Mr. Lindsay's 
library ? and was she about to introduce her brother to the 
Derson who had forbidden her to mention his name ? There 
was something however in Mr. John's figure and air, in his 
utter coolness, that insensibly restored her spirits. Triumphant 
confidence in him overcame the fear of Mr. Lindsay ; and 
when he appeared, Ellen with tolerable composure met him, 
her hand upon John's arm, and said, " Father, this is Mr. 
Humphreys," — my brother she dared not add. 

" 1 hope Mr. Lindsay will pardon my giving him this trou- 
ble," said the latter ; — ** we have one thing in common which 
should forbid our being strangers to each other. I, at least, 
was unwilling to leave Scotland without making myself known 
to Mr. Lindsay." 

Mr. Lindsay most devoutly wished the " thing in common" 
had been anything else. He bowed, and was " happy to 
have the pleasure," but evidently neither pleased nor happy. 
Ellen could see that. 

" May I take up five minutes of Mr. Lindsay's time to 
explain, perhaps to apologize," said John, slightly smiling, — 
*' for what I have said ?" 

A little ashamed, it might be, to have his feehng suspect- 
ed, Mr. Lindsay instantly granted the request, and politely 
invited his unwelcome guest to be seated. Obeying a glance 
from her brother which she understood, Ellen withdrew to 
the further side of the room, where she could not hear what 
they said. John took up the history of Ellen's acquaintance 
with his family, and briefly gave it to Mr. Lindsay, scarce 
touching upon the benefits by them conferred on her, and 
skillfully dwelling rather on Ellen herself and setting forth 
what she had been to them. Mr. Lindsay could not be un- 
conscious of what his visitor delicately omitted to hint at, 
neither could he help making secretly to himself some most 
unwilling admissions ; and though he might wish the speaker 
at the antipodes, and doubtless did, yet the sketch was too 
happily given, and his fondness for Ellen too great, for him 
not to be delightedly interested in what was said of her. 
And however strong might have been his desire to dismiss 
his guest in a very summary manner, or to treat him with 
haughty reserve, the graceful dignity of Mr. Humphreys' 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



327 



manners made either expedient impossible. Mr. Lindsay felt 
constrained to meet him on his own ground — the ground of 
high-bred frankness ; and grew secretly still more afraid that 
his real feelings should be discerned. 

Ellen, from afar, where she could not hear the words, 
watched the countenances with great anxiety and great ad- 
miration. She could see that while her brother spoke with 
his usual perfect ease, Mr. Lindsay was embarrassed. She 
half read the truth. She saw the entire politeness where she 
also saw the secret discomposure, and she felt that the 
politeness was forced from him. As the conversation went 
on, however, she wonderingly saw that the cloud on his brow 
lessened, — she saw him even smile ; and when at last they 
rose, and she drew near, she almost thought her ears were 
playing her false when she heard Mr. Lindsay beg her bro- 
ther to go in with him to the company and be presented to 
Mrs. Lindsay. After a moment's hesitation this invitation 
was accepted, and they went together into the drawing- 
room. 

Ellen felt as if she was in a dream. With a face as grave 
as usual, but with an inward exultation and rejoicing in her 
brother impossible to describe, she saw him going about 
among the company, — talking to her grandmother, — yes and 
her grandmother did not look less pleasant than usual, — re- 
cognizing M, Muller, and in conversation with other people 
whom he knew. With indescribable glee Ellen saw that Mr. 
Lindsay managed most of the time to be of the same group. 
Never more than that night did she triumphantly think that 
Mr. John could do anything. He finished the evening there. 
Ellen took care not to seem too much occupied with him ; 
but she contrived to be near when he was talking with M. 
Muller, and to hang upon her father's arm when he was in 
Mr. John's neighborhood. And when the latter had taken 
leave, and was in the hall, Ellen was there before he could 
be gone. And there came Mr. Lindsay too behind her ! 

" You will come early to-morrow morning, John?" 

" Come to breakfast, Mr. Humphreys, will you ?" said Mr. 
Lindsay, with sufficient cordiality. 

But Mr. Humphreys dechned this invitation, in spite of 
the timid touch of Ellen's fingers upon his arm, which begged 
for a different answer. 



828 THE WIDE, "WIDE WORi JD. 



" I will be with you early, Ellie," he said however. 
And ! John," said Ellen suddenly, "order a horse 
and let us have one ride together ; let me show you Edin- 
burgh." 

" By all means," said Mr. Lindsay, — ** let us show you 
Edinburgh ; but order no horses, Mr. Humphreys, for mine 
are at your service." 

Ellen's other hand was gratefully laid upon her father's 
arm as this second proposal was made and accepted, 

" Let us show you Edinburgh," said Ellen to herself, as she 
and Mr. Lindsay slowly and gravely went back through the 
hall. " So ! there is an end of my fine morning ! — But how- 
ever, how foolish I am ! John has his own ways of doing 
things — he can make it pleasant in spite of everything." 

She went to bed, not to sleep indeed, for a long time, but 
to cry for joy and all sorts of feelings at once. 

Good came out of evil, as it often does, and as Ellen's heart 
presaged it would when she arose the next morning. The 
ride was preceded by half an hour's chat between Mr. John, 
Mr. Lindsay, and her grandmother ; in which the delight of 
the evening before was renewed and confirmed. Ellen was 
obhged to look down to hide the too bright satisfaction she 
felt was shining in her face. She took no part in the conversa- 
tion, it was enough to hear. She sat with charmed ears, 
seeing her brother overturning all her father's and grandmo- 
ther's prejudices, and making his own way to their respect at 
least, in spite of themselves. Her marveling still almost kept 
even pace with her joy. " I knew he would do what he 
pleased," she said to herself, — " 1 knew they could not help 
that ; but I did not dream he wouid ever make them like 
him, — that I never dreamed !" 

On the ride again, Ellen could not wish that her father 
were not with them. She wished for nothing ; it was all a 
maze of pleasure, which there was nothing to mar but the 
sense that she would by-and-by wake up and find it was a 
dream. And no, not that either. It was a solid good and 
blessing, which though it must come to an end, she should 
never lose. F or the present there was hardly anything to be 
thought of but enjoyment. She shrewdly guessed that Mr. 
Lindsay would have enjoyed it too, but for herself ; there was 
a little constraint about him still, s^he could see. There was 



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329 



none about Mr. John ; in the delight of his words and 
looks and presence, Ellen half the time forgot Mr. Lindsay 
entirely ; she had enough of them ; she did not for one mo- 
ment wish that Mr. Lindsay had less. 

At last the long beautiful ride came to an end ; and the 
rest of the morning soon sped away, though as Ellen had ex- 
pected she was not permitted to spend any part of it alone 
with her brother. Mr. Lindsay asked him to dinner, but this 
was declined. 

Not till long after he was gone did Ellen read Mr. 
Humphreys' letter. One bit of it may be given. 

" Mr. Van Brunt has lately joined our little church. This 
has given me great pleasure. He had been a regular at- 
tendant for a long time before. He ascribes much to your 
instrumentality; but says his first thoughts (earnest ones) on 
the subject of religion were on the occasion of a tear that fell 
from Ellen's eye upon his hand one day when she was talk- 
ing to him about the matter. He never got over the impres- 
sion. In his own words, * it scared him 1' That was a dear 
child ! I did not know how dear till I had lost her. 1 did 
not know how severely I should feel her absence ; nor had I 
the least notion when she w^as with us of many things re- 
specting her that I have learnt since. I half hoped we should 
yet have her back, but that will not be. I shall be glad to 
see you, my son." 

The correspondence with John was begun immediately, 
and was the delight of Ellen's life. Mrs. Lindsay and her 
daughter wished to put a stop to it ; but Mr. Lindsay dryly 
said that Mr. Humphreys had frankly spoken of it before him, 
and as he had made no objection then he could not now. 

Ellen puzzled herself a little to think what could be the 
third thing John wanted of her ; but whatever it were, she 
was very sure she would do it ! 

For the gratification of those who are never satisfied, one 
word shall be added, to w^it, that 

The seed so early sown in little Ellen's mind, and so care- 
fully tended by sundry hands, grew in course of time to all 
the fair stature and comely perfection it had bid fair to reach 
— storms and winds that had visited it did but cause the 
root to take deeper hold ; — and at the point of its young 
maturity it happily fell again into those hands that had of all 



330 



THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD. 



been most successful in its culture. — In other words, to speak 
intelligibly, Ellen did in no wise disappoint her brother's 
wishes, nor he hers, Three or four more years of Scottish 
discipline wrought her no ill ; they did but serve to temper 
and beautify her Christian character ; and then, to her un- 
speakable joy, she went back to spend her life with the 
friends and guardians she best loved, and to be to them, still 
more than she had been to her Scottish relations, the " light 
of the eyes." 



TEB nzm. 



s